Mission Still Not Accomplished

With U.S. control imperiled in Iraq, the military vows to oust the insurgents from their havens. Here's what it will take

The U.S. military has been here before: caught in a conflict where the thing it does best--fighting--can't win the war. In Iraq today, brute force is a wasting asset, as Major General Peter Chiarelli, commander of the 1st Cavalry Division, knows firsthand. On a hot late-summer day, his soldiers entered Baghdad's Sadr City slum to quell attacks from militiamen loyal to rebel cleric Muqtada al-Sadr. Chiarelli's troops came under fierce fire as dozens of rocket-propelled grenades (RPGs) pounded their vehicles, and roadside bombs blew the tracks off a tank. For four hours, the two forces battled until the outmatched gunmen melted...

Want the full story?

Subscribe Now

Subscribe
Subscribe

Get TIME the way you want it

  • One Week Digital Pass — $4.99
  • Monthly Pay-As-You-Go DIGITAL ACCESS$2.99
  • One Year ALL ACCESSJust $30!   Best Deal!
    Print Magazine + Digital Edition + Subscriber-only Content on TIME.com

Learn more about the benefits of being a TIME subscriber

If you are already a subscriber sign up — registration is free!