Perhaps a small bit of good news from Mesopotamia.
Ramadi fell to the Islamic State in May, in a sudden collapse after a long battle that exposed multiple weaknesses in the government’s ability to fight the militants, including stark military shortfalls and disorganization, and an unwillingness by the government to arm or send reinforcements to help Sunni tribesmen who were fighting the militants.
The rapid advances on Monday and Tuesday held out hope that after months of preparation, the government had finally marshaled a large enough force to prevail in Ramadi and begin a wider operation to fight the Islamic State in other areas of Anbar Province.
“I think the fall of Ramadi is inevitable,” Col. Steven H. Warren, the United States military spokesman here, said Tuesday. But he added, “That said, it’s going to be a tough fight.”
Indeed it will be. If the Iraqi government [sic] can take and hold Ramadi, that’s a significant step forward. If not, then, well, that will be significant too, in the wrong way. Our man URR at XBradTC did a governance-support tour in Ramadi back in 2004, and I’ll see if he can add some color and context.
Oh, and that’s Colonel Steve Warren, VMI ’89.