Fallujah: Again!!

The retaking of Fallujah is nothing less than a total repudiation of the Obama doctrine.

May 22, 2016 was the day Iraqi prime minister Haider al-abadi decided to call the American’s to strategize on how best to tackle the Sunni Islamic State.  As of this writing, the Iraqi’s have stalled.  Why?

Fallujah isn’t Mosul, Iraq’s second largest city after Baghdad; a city of one million near Kurdish allies reigning in the north, Fallujah is about 30 minutes drive west of Baghdad. Haider’s most urgent task was dismantling Sunni terror networks that were besieging Baghdad with bombs.  May alone saw over 500 deaths due to bombing.  The truth of the matter is more difficult to discern.  The likelihood is far more pernicious, the bombs that rocked Baghdad were developed and fielded from Diyala province in the east and from towns south of the Tigris river moving southeast from Baghdad.

Nevertheless, Iraq has stalled in Fallujah.  Here’s why:  unlike the imminent  assault on Mosul in the north, comprised of regular army units trained by coalition and Kurds, Fallujah operates on Popular Mobilization Units (MPU), these are Shia militias trained by Iran and the local police.

We’ve got a bifurcated assault team of Shia lead Iranian’s acting as a spearhead in Fallujah.  The origin of the stall of simple:  the politics of the engagement is totally confusing.

Remember the centrality of Clausewitz, war is politics by another means.

About William Holland

Systematic Theologian/International Relations
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