Academic journal article Military Review

FIGHTING FOR FALLUJAH: A New Dawn for Iraq

Academic journal article Military Review

FIGHTING FOR FALLUJAH: A New Dawn for Iraq

Article excerpt

FIGHTING FOR FALLUJAH: A New Dawn for Iraq, John R. Ballard, Praeger Security International, Westport, CT, 2006, 184 pages, $44.95.

Written by John Ballard, commander of the Marine Corps' 4th Civil Affairs Group in Iraq, Fighting for Fallujah is a first-hand account of how Marine-led Coalition forces retook the city of Fallujah from insurgent elements in November 2004. Much deeper than just a story about the most intense urban combat Marines have participated in since Hue, Ballard's insider narrative educates readers on how Coalition forces learned from early mistakes and were then able to gain the support of the Sunni population despite destroying their city.

The book begins by taking readers through the events leading up to the fight, including the gruesome murders of three Blackwater contractors, Fallujah I, and An Najaf, illustrating how Coalition forces continued to learn from their missteps and then applied the lessons they learned to the upcoming fight. Using informative charts and endnotes, Ballard explains how the Marine Expeditionary Force (MEF), with the mission to destroy the terrorist elements and then restore the city to its residents, planned and then executed the retaking, resettlement, and reconstruction of Fallujah.

Ballard moves back and forth easily among the tactical, operational, and strategic levels. …

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