The 2008 Battle of Sadr City

The 2008 Battle of Sadr City

The 2008 Battle of Sadr City

The 2008 Battle of Sadr City


This paper was written as part of an ongoing project entitled “The Battle of Sadr City.” The project aims to assess the U.S. operations, principally in spring and early summer 2008, to stop Shiite extremists from firing short-range rockets and mortars into the International Zone from Sadr City. This battle also set the conditions designed to allow stability and Iraqi government control to be extended to the whole of Baghdad.

This paper summarizes the research still in progress and is meant to provide insights and lessons learned from the Battle of Sadr City that can inform a broader understanding of urban operations—particularly those conducted as part of irregular warfare—and thereby help the Army understand what capabilities it will need in the future. The research results are not yet final. Another document will address topics discussed in this paper and should be useful to those seeking an in-depth examination of the Battle of Sadr City.

This research is sponsored by the Office of the Deputy Chief of Staff, G-8, Headquarters, Department of the Army, and is being conducted in RAND Arroyo Center’s Strategy, Doctrine, and Resources Program. RAND Arroyo Center, part of the RAND Corporation, is a federally funded research and development center sponsored by the United States Army.

Questions and comments regarding this research are welcome and should be directed to the leader of the research team, David E. Johnson, at

The Project Unique Identification Code (PUIC) for the project that produced this document is ASPMO09426.

For more information on RAND Arroyo Center, contact the Director of Operations (telephone 310-393-0411, extension 6419; FAX 310-451-6952; email Marcy_Agmon@rand. org), or visit Arroyo’s website at

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