Oh, now I get it.
“In a few days we will have our first convoy go through the centre of Fallujah,” said General James Conway, commander of the 1st Marine Expeditionary Force.
The US commander said that he expect the new leader of Fallujah Protective Army (FPA), Major General Jassem Mohammed Saleh, to provide security for the convoy.
So, the deal is that the Marines pull out of the town and in exchange they get a guarantee of safe passage for their convoys. I was wondering what the convoy situation was and this is a clue. You might remember that 8 soldiers were killed and 4 wounded in a convoy attack 2 days ago. Just this morning another US soldier was killed in a convoy attack. For those willing to piece together the scattered bits of information on convoy attacks, it seemed clear that, as I wrote recently, the American military has a severe logistics problem.
Could this be at least part of the reason for the astonishingly abrupt about-face of the commanders in the field, who went from saying “Submit or die” to installing an ex-Republican Guard General to run Fallujah, and pulling out?
I guess the question now is whether or not this General and his compadres in the Fallujah resistance – and make no mistake, this guy is intimately tied to the resistance, being a member of the largest tribe in Fallujah – will keep their part of the bargain, or will they turn on the Americans? It will be interesting to watch this Fallujah Protective Army. Will the Americans provide them with weapons and protective body armor and all the other superior equipment American troops have, and turn them into a real force or is this just a face saving sham deal?