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RAMADI (Iraq): Mother of All MOUT Maps

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This was Lt Campbell's assessment in Joker 1 as to why things ignited in Ramadi in April.  I am not sure I agree 100%.  I expect there are additional variables but I also wasn't there. 

To date, nearly every unit in the battalion had been involved in at least one, if not several, enemy attacks, and 2/ 4 had responded with our own fire on fewer than five occasions. Our hesitance to engage our enemies spoke volumes about both their willingness to sacrifice civilians in pursuit of their aims and our willingness to sacrifice ourselves in pursuit of ours, but this powerful message had somehow been lost in translation. At the company and platoon level— the units actually on the street day in and day out— we had done almost no work with our Iraqi counterparts, the police and the national guard. Aside from George, there was no one to help us explain our seeming passivity in the face of repeated attacks to a population largely on the fence. Therefore, our kindness quickly became perceived as weakness by the insurgents and by most of Ramadi’s citizens, and by late March, 2/ 4 had earned itself the nickname awat, an Iraqi Arabic term for a soft, sugary cake that crumbles easily to the touch. We didn’t know it then, but the insurgents had decided to touch us, to crumble us just like the soft cake that had become our namesake. The battalion had extended the velvet glove, and it was about to get its hands severely bitten.

Campbell, Donovan. Joker One: A Marine Platoon's Story of Courage, Leadership, and Brotherhood (pp. 151-154). Random House Publishing Group. Kindle Edition. 



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Yup, as noted earlier in this lengthy thread there was a whole Tony Soprano stew of tribal subgroups, Baathists, Salafis, sects and community organizers (lol) at work here, and elsewhere in Anbar. To its  credit, the US command was in fact well up to speed on all of them. But awareness and ability to manage, much less control events, are two very different things. To the kids at risk out on the sharp end it all looked FUBAR, as always. 

Also, don't miss this article. The gist is that satellite mapping shows humanity to be vastly more urbanized (as in 6.4B out of 7B+!) than demographers previously thought.


Takeaway for military minds: *learn* the lessons of Ramadi, Basra, Homs and Mosul! You'll be seeing this sh*te again. And again. No disrespect, but Kursk, Fulda and 73 Easting are history, about as relevant as Gaugamela.

Edited by LongLeftFlank

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Interesting turn of events.


In Baghdad, hundreds of people poured into Tahrir Square and the eastern Shiite district of Sadr City. Some demonstrators break into the Badr Organization's office in Sadr City, prompting guards to open fire.







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