There was something in this article about Special Air Service operators in the UK prepping to join their brothers already on station in Iraq – and yes Mookie, there does appear to be a laser dot on your turban, why do you ask? – that brought a faint smile to your correspondent’s face, weary as he sometimes gets of hearing pols and pundits whose concerns about our troops seems to correlate more closely to the political party of their commander in chief than to any sense of the importance of the mission they are embarked upon. These have lately taken to banging their spoons ever more vigorously on their high chairs in an attempt to “hurry up and bring the troops home so that they can focus on fighting al-Qaeda.” Which, well:
The SAS and SBS have been engaged in covert missions against al-Qaeda for four years, serving with American troops from the US Joint Special Operations Command under Lieutenant-General Stanley McCrystal. US military sources said the special forces teams had killed a total of 2,000 al-Qaeda fighters, carrying out missions at night.
However, despite their heavy commitments, diplomatic sources said yesterday that elements of the British special forces already in Baghdad could be diverted to the hunt for the five missing Britons because of their unrivalled knowledge of the Iraqi security environment.
McCrystal is the guy who got the congratulatory telephone call from the president after Abu mus’b al Zarqawi got JDAM’d to hell in Diyala. It’s good to know he’s also getting to tap into the expertise of the SAS and Special Boat Squadron types, they are superb operators.
And it is a target-rich environment, after all.
Plenty to go around.