Iraq - Patrolling, Looting and Gangs: On Patrol

Before the war in Iraq it was argued that sophisticated technology was transforming conflict, allowing fighting at a distance with lighter forces. But in the post-war phase, old-fashioned patrolling is making a comeback in the struggle to restore security, calling into question the whole high-tech approach.

The World Today
5 minute READ

Alice Hills

The safest way to fight is to stay out of reach of your enemy, but this proved easier for coalition forces during Operation Iraqi Freedom than in the reconstruction phase.

Like most recent coalition operations, the mission to topple Saddam Hussein was conducted from a distance, using long-range precision-guided munitions from aircraft, ships and ground vehicles. There were fears that taking Baghdad and other key cities might involve fierce street-to-street fighting, but a combination of sophisticated US technology and Iraqi ineptitude meant that the coalition fought the sort of war it wanted unchallenged.

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