With Capture of Falluja, a Goal Is Met. What's Next?
American military commanders say the weeklong assault that has wrested most of Falluja from insurgent control has achieved nearly all their objectives well ahead of schedule and with fewer pitfalls than anticipated. But where do the United States and the government of the interim prime minister, Ayad Allawi, go from here? In the coming weeks, the two allies must still combat a resilient and dangerous insurgency operating in most of Iraq, accelerate a huge economic reconstruction effort and lay the groundwork for elections to be held in January. One goal of the offensive in Falluja was to eliminate a major safe haven for insurgents in Iraq, a hub for assassinations, car bombings and ambushes from Ramadi to Baghdad and beyond. Another was to allow the city’s 250,000 residents to take part in elections. Full Story