Fallujah and beyond

Belmont Club discusses the latest news from Fallujah. It seems the enemy “is pinned in a strip north of the highway, which is now a barrier to further escape south.” The clear sense of all the reports I’ve seen is that operation is going extremely well. However, I can’t help suspecting that an awful lot of bad guys, including the worst ones, left Fallujah a while ago. If so, then it’s questionable whether (or to what extent) this battle, in itself, will be a turning point.
On the other hand, if we begin routing insurgents in whatever strongholds they select, it should be much more difficult for them to commit large-scale acts terrorism. Denying the bad guys substantial bases and staging areas, and keeping them on the run, is probably the best we’re going to do, and it may be plenty. Plus, the conquest of Fallujah may make it possible to satisfy President Bush’s goal of holding credible January elections throughout the Sunni triangle, including what’s left of that town.
UPDATE: Chrenkoff also speculates that “the bulk of Iraqi and foreign insurgents have slipped out of the town over the last few weeks to fight somewhere else and die more productively.”

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