There's a lot of talk about the upcoming troop "surge" in Iraq. The theory is that more US troops in Baghdad will make the difference in rooting out sectarian militias and guaranteeing security for those residents unable or unwilling to abandon their old neighborhoods in the face of attacks and death threats. That's all fine and good, but what does this mean, in operational terms, for US forces carrying out this mission? The International Herald Tribune takes you on a search-and-destroy mission with a detachment of US troops here. They were supposed to be joined by Iraqi colleagues, but those Iraqis were nowhere to be found when the trouble started.
You have to wonder what these forays will accomplish, and how this fortifies our position in the war on terror. I find it very unlikely that these Sunni and Shiite antagonists, who are busy ethnically cleansing one another's neighborhoods, are going to take time out to come here and take us on in the streets of San Francisco.