Battle for Mosul II

Day 2: One news channel last night claimed that the clearing of the city could take up to six months. That seemed excessive.

Basically, with ISIL being outnumbered and not having any real armored forces or artillery, they really have no way to contest the ground outside of Mosul. Like most of these other operations, I suspect that getting to and isolating the city won’t take that long (maybe a week or two). I also suspect that the majority of the ISIL fighters will withdraw and they will leave a holding force in Mosul. This is how these fights have happened several times before. Then there is a city-clearing operation, which is basically a mop-up operation. This could drag on for a while, depending on how aggressively it is pushed. The Second Battle of Fallujah in late 2004, primarily done by U.S. Army and Marines, took about six weeks. The Second Battle of Tikrit in 2015 also took around six weeks. The Battle of Ramadi in 2015-2016 took over ten weeks. The latest Battle of Fallujah in 2016 lasted about five weeks. Granted Mosul is bigger, but I can’t envision it will be that different. How many fighters is ISIL going to sacrifice to a lost cause?

Anyhow, article de jure on the war: Mosul offensive

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Christopher A. Lawrence
Christopher A. Lawrence

Christopher A. Lawrence is a professional historian and military analyst. He is the Executive Director and President of The Dupuy Institute, an organization dedicated to scholarly research and objective analysis of historical data related to armed conflict and the resolution of armed conflict. The Dupuy Institute provides independent, historically-based analyses of lessons learned from modern military experience.
Mr. Lawrence was the program manager for the Ardennes Campaign Simulation Data Base, the Kursk Data Base, the Modern Insurgency Spread Sheets and for a number of other smaller combat data bases. He has participated in casualty estimation studies (including estimates for Bosnia and Iraq) and studies of air campaign modeling, enemy prisoner of war capture rates, medium weight armor, urban warfare, situational awareness, counterinsurgency and other subjects for the U.S. Army, the Defense Department, the Joint Staff and the U.S. Air Force. He has also directed a number of studies related to the military impact of banning antipersonnel mines for the Joint Staff, Los Alamos National Laboratories and the Vietnam Veterans of American Foundation.
His published works include papers and monographs for the Congressional Office of Technology Assessment and the Vietnam Veterans of American Foundation, in addition to over 40 articles written for limited-distribution newsletters and over 60 analytical reports prepared for the Defense Department. He is the author of Kursk: The Battle of Prokhorovka (Aberdeen Books, Sheridan, CO., 2015), America’s Modern Wars: Understanding Iraq, Afghanistan and Vietnam (Casemate Publishers, Philadelphia & Oxford, 2015), War by Numbers: Understanding Conventional Combat (Potomac Books, Lincoln, NE., 2017) , The Battle of Prokhorovka (Stackpole Books, Guilford, CT., 2019), The Battle for Kyiv (Frontline Books, Yorkshire, UK, 2023), Aces at Kursk (Air World, Yorkshire, UK, 2024), Hunting Falcon: The Story of WWI German Ace Hans-Joachim Buddecke (Air World, Yorkshire, UK, 2024) and The Siege of Mariupol (Frontline Books, Yorkshire, UK, 2024).
Mr. Lawrence lives in northern Virginia, near Washington, D.C., with his wife and son.

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