The vicious urban battle for the insurgent-controlled city of Fallujah in November 2004 was a turning point in the ongoing counterinsurgency campaign in Iraq. It demonstrated the resolve of the Iraqi government to fight terrorists domestically, using both multinational and Iraqi forces, and its results included a returning population willing to vote in national elections held in January 2005. Ballard tells the story of the Fallujah campaign, beginning with the horrific deaths of the American Blackwater contractors in March 2004 and continuing through the battle, the painstaking reconstruction of the city, and the precedent-setting elections that followed. Based on first-person accounts, interviews, and official documents, this book gives readers rare insight into the significant actions and innovative techniques of the year-long fight for the city. Opening with a historical overview of the initial crisis in Fallujah and the similar coalition battle in Najaf, the book includes a detailed account of the planning and execution of the operation to retake the city. Finally, it describes the political and military lessons proven in Fallujah, including coalition force integration, information operations, urban combat techniques, interagency coordination and innovative reconstruction procedures. This is the story of real combat in Iraq--told in a way every American should understand.