CHAPTER 12Get Past the Fatal Funnel

What’s the fatal funnel? … It’s a narrow confining area that offers little‐to‐no mobility and often provides no cover or concealment.

—75th Ranger Battalion Training Document

A doorway is nothing exciting. There isn't much to one. A doorway is a simple transition point between two spaces. That's it. You go through it and move to the next space. We do this many times every day, and it's no big deal. However, a doorway takes on a much heavier meaning when you are in a combat situation. A doorway becomes a fatal funnel.

When you join the U.S. military, but before you go to war, you are placed in various training scenarios. Prior to going to war in Iraq, the United States fought wars in jungle environments or large open battlefields, and the military trained its warriors accordingly. The Iraq war forced the U.S. military to rethink and revamp the way it trained and fought because of the change in the environment we were fighting in. In the Iraqi war, the battlefield was an urban hellscape. There were no open areas, and every door, window, and building was a potential shooting position or kill house.

Iraq was an entirely new battlespace. Combat operations in Iraq were nearly completely within cities, and the enemy was an insurgent force. Every house and every door in those houses had to be opened and cleared during engagements with the enemy. It was a hazardous place to be, and the method of engaging the enemy fundamentally differed from past ...

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