The Battle of Fallujah forever changed the methods in which the American military conducts combat operations. The American military was not expecting to engage in such a bloody and intense battle like Fallujah. Fallujah changed the way the military conducted its tactical operations, its intelligence operations, and its Information Operations (IO). There are also a number of other factors that were changed to due this intense urban conflict. The Battle of Fallujah was started by one singular incident, which will now be expanded upon.
Insurgents ambushed and killed four American private security contractors in Fallujah, Iraq, on March 31, 2004. These men were from the Blackwater Security Firm. They were providing security for truck convoys carrying food throughout Fallujah. These men were not simply killed, but there corpses were set on fire, dismembered, beaten, and dragged through the streets of Fallujah. The insurgents hung two of the burnt corpses from a bridge over the Euphrates River while local citizens celebrated and rejoiced in the streets. Associated Press reporters on scene took pictures and showed the world the appalling event that had occurred.
These actions angered the U.S. government and on April 4, 2004, Operation Vigilant Resolve commenced. This battle had U.S. Marines attempt to expel insurgents, from Fallujah city, that were responsible for the murder of the Blackwater workers. The Marines were not fully prepared for the difficult urban combat this battle would entail. The horrid actions of the insurgents sent the U.S. into a frenzy, which in turn, did not allow them to prepare a proper battle strategy. The strategy for Fallujah city was simple, conventional Army tactics that would shock and awe the enemy into submission and defeat. This hastily comprised battle also drew criticism from both U.S. ally nations and the Iraqi interim government. U.S. forces withdrew from Fallujah on May 1, 2004. The operation had not been properly planned and because of that 51 U.S. service members had been killed in action against Al-Qaeda insurgents.
This battle enabled the insurgents to turn Fallujah into a unifying call against the U.S. and to challenge the legitimacy of the newly-formed Iraqi interim government. Now, the insurgents had the victory they needed to garner support from other citizens who were disgruntled with the U.S and the Iraqi government. Operation Vigilant Resolve was a failure on almost every level. This operation was insufficiently, coordinated, timed, and planned. The U.S. government did not properly elaborate the strategic and operational goals expected for Operation Vigilant Resolve.
The Battle of Fallujah was the first major engagement in Operation Iraqi Freedom (OIF). Coalition Forces intended to establish a stable and secure Fallujah for the newly-formed Iraqi interim government. The insurgents intended to use this battle as a method to show resistance towards the newly-formed Iraqi interim government. The...