All posts tagged: long range

What Al-Qaeda Did to Fallujah, Hamas Did to Gaza

What Al-Qaeda Did to Fallujah, Hamas Did to Gaza

Twenty years ago, on what looked like a movie set built in the Quantico woods, I learned how to fight in a city. This faux city was called “MOUT Town.” MOUT—Military Operations in Urban Terrain—is U.S. military-speak for high-intensity urban combat, like what’s unfolding in Gaza. Tactically, MOUT was very different from the traditional combat we’d already studied in the Marine Corps. The urban battlefield was highly constricted; streets and buildings funneled us into close quarters with our enemy. Beyond every corner, window, or doorway lurked a potential ambush. Most notably, and adding a specific and complex layer to this type of warfare, civilians blended with adversaries, all played by instructors who ambushed us with paintball guns. Casualty rates in urban warfare far exceed those of other forms of combat, a fact reinforced by the dime-size paintball welts that covered my body by the end of MOUT week. Less than a year later, in November 2004, I found myself leading a 46-man rifle platoon into Fallujah, in Iraq. This battle pitted 13,000 Marines and soldiers …