No wonder counter-insurgency is faltering in the Mosul area...
Chalk this up to the "Do you know the enemy?" syndrome. From the New York Times today, 'Minorities Can't Escape Fury of Northern Iraq's Ethnic and Religious Maelstrom,' Sunday, August 16, 2009:
Maj. Gen. Robert L. Caslen Jr., commander of American forces in northern Iraq, told reporters on Tuesday that the Sunni insurgent group Al Qaeda in Mesopotamia had now teamed up with another militant group, the Islamic State of Iraq.I'm guessing that Gernal Caslen and his briefers are not regular readers of Talisman Gate. This guy is supposed to be battling the jihadists in and around Mosul, yet he manages to get a critical piece of information so wrong, which makes me wonder, what else is he getting wrong?
'Al Qaeda in Mesopotamia' created the Islamic State of Iraq in October 2006, nearly three years ago. It subsumed itself into the new organization, and there hasn't been something called 'Al-Qaeda in Mesopotamia' since that time. Kindly update your briefing folders.