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On alert

Audio slide show

On patrol in Ramadi

Documentary video

Training Days

Photo essay

On the front lines

Audio slide show

 

Project explores battle against shadow enemy

Gannett News Service

“Insurgency: Test of American will in Iraq” is an effort to help readers understand what has become an unpredictable, unwieldy war now approaching a critical stage.

GNS national security correspondent John Yaukey, 44, was the lead reporter on the project. He spent weeks interviewing military officers, experts, current and former soldiers and Marines, members of military families and intelligence experts. He also reviewed numerous speeches and reports produced by the government and Washington think tanks.

Army Times reporter Gordon Trowbridge, 35, and photographer Lloyd Francis, 44, spent a week with the Marines in Ramadi, Iraq, to provide an up-close account of what U.S. troops face day after day in fighting insurgents. They accompanied Marines on dangerous night patrols, tense walks through markets and missions along roads known to be targets of car bombers.

Gannett News Service photographer Bill Clark, 41, traveled to Fort Polk, La., to spend a week with troops going through insurgency warfare training. His photos capture the range of exercises soldiers must go through to prepare for fighting a shadow enemy.

And, Christian Hill, 30, a reporter at The Olympian in Olympia, Wash., conducted interviews with relatives of soldiers serving in Iraq to get a sense of the anxiety felt on the home front.

M. Scott Mahaskey, another photographer with Army Times, contributed photos and audio commentary for the online package. Mahaskey has spent months embedded with U.S. troops in Iraq. He recently returned from a tour with Marines stationed in and around Mosul.

This Web site was planned and designed by Leonard Fischer, GNS multimedia editor. David McCreery, GNS multimedia designer, created much of the multimedia, including the photo galleries and audio reports.

Phil Pruitt, GNS projects editor, oversaw this special report.

PART 1

U.S. relearning painful lessons in Iraq

By John Yaukey, GNS

American and Iraqi forces already are struggling with a full-blown insurgency that has cost hundreds of lives. If the Iraq's Jan. 30 elections go badly and its political landscape falls into chaos, Americans will be facing a debacle that easily rivals Vietnam.

PART 2

Marines battle hidden enemy with clear mission

By Gordon Trowbridge, Army Times

U.S. forces in Iraq constantly confront enemies hiding among innocents, and innocents stumbling into a fate they don’t deserve. It's a war often fought in seconds with some of its most important decisions made by young privates, not generals.

PART 3

U.S. path out of Iraq: Hand off insurgency to local security forces

By John Yaukey, GNS

As Iraqi security gain confidence, the Pentagon will gradually scale down the U.S. force size. The hope is that this will reduce U.S. casualties, lower the American profile in Iraq and start reassuring Americans that there is an end in sight.



 

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