Friday, November 26, 2004

Massive U.S. Casualties on Omaha Beach; Hitler's Reich Remains Intact, Defiant

From tomorrow's Weekly Standard, an excerpt from an article by Mackubin Thomas Owens, with compliments to Jonathan V. Last:

Critics are asking what the operation in Fallujah really accomplished. They note that the insurgents' leaders appear to have escaped and that violence has erupted elsewhere in northern Iraq. Media accounts also routinely describe the fighting outside Fallujah as a "rebel counter-offensive" that surprised the U.S. military, implying that the reduction of Fallujah merely created more insurgents.

But the view conveyed by these headlines is myopic. An equivalent headline in June 1944 would have read: "Massive U.S. Casualties on Omaha Beach; Hitler's Reich Remains Intact, Defiant." Such stories fail to place Fallujah, Mosul, Tal Afar, and other cities in northern Iraq in context. The fact is that Fallujah is part of a campaign, a series of coordinated events--movements, battles, and supporting operations--designed to achieve strategic or operational objectives within a military theater. Fallujah is just one battle, albeit an extremely important one, in a comprehensive campaign to stabilize the Sunni Triangle.

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