The first battle in Fallujah during Operation Iraqi Freedom (OIF) is known as Operation Vigilant Resolve. This battle is regarded as one of the biggest single defeats that the United States Military has suffered throughout all its campaigns during OIF. The United States and international media outlets exploited this defeat, which in turn, bolstered Al Qaeda recruiting in Fallujah. This offensive failure and retreat was backed by a huge public outcry for troop withdrawal and successful exploitation of recruiting propaganda by the insurgents.
Lieutenant General James Conway, Commander of the First Expeditionary Force (MEF), was ordered to withdrawal his Marines from Fallujah and leave the city to the insurgents1. Throughout Iraq and the Muslim world, this was perceived as a major victory for the insurgents. This victory inspired other Muslims to join the cause, and they soon flocked to Fallujah increasing their presence in the city. In the months following April 2004, leading up to Battle of Fallujah 2, otherwise known as Operation Phantom Fury/ Al Fajr (New Dawn), the insurgent numbers were increasing by the hundreds. This battle is one for the history books, it is said to be one of the bloodiest and most talked about in OIF. At the end of the campaign, 51 service were members killed, 425 wounded, 1200 insurgents killed, and 1000 prisoners captured2. This battle set the stage on how the Unite States Military conducts future Joint Operations throughout the rest of OIF.
The city of Fallujah located roughly 36 kilometers west of Bagdad on the Euphrates River. It is surrounded by bigger cities such as Bagdad, Ramadi, and Tikrit. This so called city has evolved over time and has been a key crossroads for trade throughout Iraq and neighboring countries. Fallujah has been a site for battles dating back 2500 years3. In 244 CE a battle erupted between the Romans and the Sussanian Armies in the town of Misiche (current day Fallujah), the Sussanians would be the victorious. The Persian King, King Shapur renamed the city Piruz-Shapur (“Victorious Shapur”)4. For six centuries the city was prized during Persian and Roman wars. The Persians never lost control and turned the city into a lavish place to live. In 1920, Fallujah would again be a site for another battle after the assignation of a British Officer and explorer, Lt. Col. Gerald Leachman. The British would wage a massive air attack and dropped bombs indiscriminately killing anyone within reach. In the end, over 1000 British soldiers and 10,000 Iraqis were killed. With a long history of war and radical religious attitude, Fallujah turned into a capital of insurgency in Iraq. For more the 200 years or 10 generations, Fallujah was influenced by Wahabbi or Salafi ideas. These ideas came out of the eastern part of Saudi Arabia in the late 18th century. Meaning people of the...