RealNews

Falluja Offensive Is Seen as a Test of U.S. Pledge

The American offensive in Falluja will test the administration’s belief that the Iraqi insurgency can be subdued in time for the country’s elections in late January, current and former government officials said Monday. While American-led forces will certainly succeed in regaining control of the city, the officials said, the ultimate success of the operation will be measured by whether fleeing insurgent leaders are able to set up operations in yet another city, or regroup to fight again in Falluja, as they have in Samarra and some other cities in the Sunni triangle. The operation will also be an important test of the discipline, will and effectiveness of the Iraqi forces, because it is crucial that the assault not be seen solely as an American operation. Finally, because officials expect fierce fighting in Falluja, they are bracing for the reaction of Iraq’s Sunni Muslims, a group the Americans are trying to coax to take part in the elections. Full Story

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