River Gate Continues in Haqlaniyah

Haqlaniyah appears to be the focus of Coalition efforts at this stage of Operation River Gate. More weapons caches and improvised explosive devices are uncovered. A Vehicle Borne Improvised Explosive Device (VBIED or car bomb) is discovered at a school in Haqlaniyah and destroyed by Coalition air support. Coalition Forces uncovered a weapons cache outside of Haqlaniyah which “consisted of bomb-making materials, numerous weapons and ammunition, and several computer discs with Arabic writing.”

The computer discs will be analyzed in hopes of gaining intelligence on insurgent activities and their command and organizational structure. As we have seen numerous times throughout Iraq, and most recently in Hit, the right piece of intelligence can lead to the destruction of entire terror cells and brigades. The Haditha-Haqlaniyah-Barwana region was a bastion for al Qaeda in Iraq, and Zarqawi is believed to have had a home in the area. Any information gathered from this region will be scrutinized by Coalition intelligence. Task Force 626 lies in wait to pounce on Zarqawi’s command.


Antonio Castaneda has an article on Haditha well worth reading. He is embedded with the Marines of the 3rd Battalion, 1st Regiment, who are operating in Haditha. He notes the change in the region; “Marines note the war, at least in this region, has evolved since their last tour. Insurgents are now hiding instead of controlling entire neighborhoods.” The Marines report their roles have switched from strictly warfighting to that of policeman, detective and diplomat.

Bill Roggio is a Senior Fellow at the Foundation for Defense of Democracies and the Editor of FDD's Long War Journal.

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  • Jamison1 says:

    Have you guys seen this article? What do you think? What kind of track record does Douglas
    Borer have?

    The clock is ticking in Iraq

    Douglas A. Borer


  • peterargus says:

    Borer has MUCH more authority than I do. But IMHO he kind of gives it away by comparing the current leadership to Westmoreland. For one thing the strategy in Vietnam changed considerably after Westmoreland was replaced by Abrams. Much more attention was placed on getting the South Vietnamese to defend themselves with considerable success. Does that sound familiar? Borer doesn’t really provide any evidence that the war is a replay of the Westmoreland phase of Vietnam. I wonder what he thinks of the pacification of Fallujah or the apparent tremendous (and largely unsung except for Michael Yon) success in Mosul? And what does he make of the continuing offensive and increasing occupation of West and Northwest Iraq by US and Iraqi forces as relayed to us so well at Fourth Rail? Is it really possible he is a victim of the same news blackout as most SF Chronicle readers?

  • peterargus says:

    What do you think Bill?

  • exhelodrvr says:

    He writes as though no progress is being made. I don’t know where he can get that from, and as though all the Army and Marines do is charge around in their Abrams and Bradleys. Has he not been paying attention? The leadership has clearly made orders of magnitude shifts in tactics as the situation has evolved.
    I do agree with his comment on the timer, though. Unfortunately, the AMerican populace is not very patient, and the MSM just fuels that fire.

  • Bill Roggio says:

    I’m not in the habit of debunking every Vietnamist out there. There just isn’t enough time in the day. Mr. Bores says we aren’t holding territory. This makes me queston his judgment. I am surprised that someone in his position isn’t aware of what is really going on in Anbar. But then again I shouldn’t be.

  • On that whole, “not holding” thing, the situation in a lot of your Anbar towns is still highly problematic. No, the insurgents do not control Ramadi and Haditha outright, but without a local Iraqi military and police force on the ground to garrison the place, you’re still going to have the situation when the Marines roll into town and then once they leave, insurgents are back parading about on the streets.

    It’s not really conducive to having Iraqis willing to work with our guys.

  • Lorenzo says:

    He who sees evil men prey on another and says “Let it Be”, says let him prey on me.

  • Mike G says:

    WTF is with this author? I don’t care what his credentials are — it is no excuse for writing cr*p.
    Sometimes I think people talk past facts on the ground. For example, one can talk all they want about how American troops are not holding towns and cities. That isn’t their role — that responsibility relies with the Iraqis. However, where in this author’s “analysis” is there any acknowledgement that that is what is happening?
    If this article were from November 2003, I would give the guy more leeway. Not now.

  • JarheadDad says:

    [As a young man on a bicycle approached a patrol, the lead Marine instructed the man to raise his hands and lift his shirt to check for explosives – then slap one hand on the opposite arm, then behind his head. It was the Macarena dance, laughing Marines noticed, before they let the man cycle past with a broad smile.]
    HEEEEEY Macarena! heh!
    [Marines waiting to scale a wall during house-to-house searches in 90-degree weather jokingly described their feelings: “Outstanding,” said one smirking Marine. “This is the greatest feeling in the world,” said another as the call to prayer wailed from a mosque a few blocks away.]
    Dam* Jarheads! Don’t they know they are losing? Somebody needs to tell THEM that! Laughing with their twisted sense of humor in the face of danger. Don’t they know they are supposed to be scared rabbits and bogged down in a quagmire? LMAO 😮

  • Soldier's Dad says:

    “The Borer Article”
    I think I can agree with Borer on the point of how Army’s are organized.
    The smallest practical functional unit in the Army is pretty much a battalion.
    The number of attacks in Baghdad averages 3-4 attacks per day per million population, with a force density approximately 1 battalion/300,000 population.
    Mosul is having similar results with a force density of approximately 1 battalion/400,000 population.
    A significant problem in places like TallAfar,Sammarra,AlQaim,Haditha is that in order to have a fully functioning presence, the force density needs to be 1 or more battalions/100,000 population. This in turn drives “occupation” sentiment. Which fuels recruiting for the insurgency.
    The only real solution is Iraqi troops, as of Gen Lynch’s October 5th press briefing, it appears that Iraqi troops are now as far West as Annah in the Euphrates river valley.

  • Lorenzo says:

    There is a brilliance of strategy evident in this war on terror(ists) in Iraq that should be discussed openly. In this war for a new Iraq Republic, I see that a long lasting freedom is being built upon itself from within the public of Iraq. This new societal fabric being woven is binding itself to a constitution with guaranteed rights that could only be achieved with the rising bravery to win security from within, unachievable by any massive occupation! True liberty & freedom is being born within Iraq, birthed with an amazingly limited though still painful loss of brothers, teaching new brothers how to live free.
    Thanks GW,
    Thanks to every Soldier!!!

  • Soldier's Dad says:

    TF Liberty Operation Saratoga results – 12 dead terrorists, 750 suspected terrorists detained

  • leaddog2 says:

    Yes, Lorenzo… but most media types will never understand strategy. Strategy requires intelligence. Most media types……. __________, well, fill in your own adjectives. Bill is correct about not focusing on media bashing. It is a waste of my time, do I will stop.

  • Stehpinkeln says:

    No doubt that we will eventually track down and kill every terrorist in Iraq. So? There are millions more waiting to take their place. We can reduce the attacks to say 1 a week and pretty much maintain that level. So?
    My problem is the serious disconnect between our tactics and our Strategy. There is no operational goal to speak of ( an Operational goal connects the tactics to the strategy). The enemy has managed to seperate Iraq from the WoT.
    To the point where winning in Iraq will no longer advance the WoT. Iran can maintain a 1 bomb per week effort for as long as they want to.
    Then when the US leaves they will send half a dozen Motor rifle Divisions across the border.
    What American President is going to order troops back into Iraq under those circumstances?
    No, Iran should have been dealt with last year. Waiting is just helping the enemy.

  • leaddog2 says:

    What do you suggest as an alternative? Seriously!

  • exhelodrvr says:

    The main purpose of Iraq is not to kill terrorists, although every jihadist that gets his 72 is a great fringe benefit. The main purpose of Iraq is to significantly change the dynamic in the Middle East, to take away the incentive for the Islamoterrorists. And that is certainly working so far.

  • Ike says:

    Another AQ member (possible shot) killed before he could detonate his suicide vest.

  • Ike says:

    Here’s a disgusting fluff piece from NEWSWEEK apologizing for Syria harboring terrorists and saying it is Bush’s fault that Syria allows terrorists into Iraq.
    This is just disgusting like that Time magainze/CNN guy I posted before.

  • hamidreza says:

    … the Kurds. They love the U.S.A. They want these American occupiers, and really do think of them as liberators. Top Kurdish officials have practically begged the U.S. military to make itself at home in their land. “I do not ask that Americans build bases in Kurdistan-I demand it,” says Abdel Beg Perwani, a Kurdish member of Iraq’s Parliament and deputy head of the defense committee.

  • bearmanU.S.M.C. says:

    MSM, they become more and more irrelevant every day, especially since we have places like the 4thR to go to get the real stuff. These guys have their own agenda(not Americas)! When I wanna laugh I go to the Huffpost, When I wanna be proud, or cry for my brothers, i come here! keep up the good work guys!

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