We’re getting serious about dealing with the Syrian border:
U.S. and Iraqi security forces swept through an area near the Syrian border to root out foreign fighters Sunday, the second day of one of the largest military offensives since the U.S.-led invasion in 2003.
About 3,500 troops participated in the operation in the region in and around Qaim, which the military has dubbed Steel Curtain. This is the second time in about a month that U.S.-led troops have stormed the expansive desert area in a full-fledged assault intended to expose fighters linked to the insurgent group al Qaeda in Iraq.
There’s one detail the story leaves out, and it’s an important one: it doesn’t say how many Iraqi Army battalions are working with American forces. Total forces number around 3,500, but that’s as much detail as we get.
I don’t fault reporter Jackie Spinner for the gap, because the Pentagon probably isn’t ready to say.
If anyone finds better numbers somewhere, please leave a comment and a link.
UPDATE: Charlie tells me CNN has the numbers:
About 3,000 U.S. troops and 550 Iraqis are taking part in the effort, which is aimed at rooting out suspected insurgents and stanching the influx of foreign fighters through a mix of ground maneuvers and aerial attacks.
So a mini mea culpa is in order: I do blame Spinner for not reporting the most important fact in the story. We need the MSM to be informed and knowledgeable enough to put war stories into proper perspective. Otherwise, this war (and not just the Iraqi campaign) will be lost, right here on the home front.
But that’s an essay for another day.