RealNews

In City's Ruins, Military Faces New Mission: Building Trust

When the owners of one house near the farthest southern boundary of this city return, they will find a crater 40 feet across and 8 feet deep, with one wall still standing and recognizable pieces of a ceiling strewn beside it. A broken kebab stand, its canopy collapsed, its two wheels exposed, leans over crazily into one lip of the crater. The entire street in this district looks about the same. On Monday morning, after they had seemingly been crushed the day before, insurgents began firing from windows, bunkers and piles of rubble, setting off a five-hour gun battle. The street, once flat, has been hit with so many 500-pound bombs that it looks like the zone of collision between oceanic ice sheets, with huge dips and shelves of pavement and soil. Now the American military faces the urgent but almost paradoxical imperative of rebuilding the city it just destroyed in order to defeat the rebels who had held it for so long. The devastation that the battle has wrought will not be easy to repair. The human and political effects of that devastation could rapidly spread far beyond Falluja. Full Story

OODA Analyst

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