In 2003, General Stanley McChrystal took command of the United States' Joint Special Operations Command (JSOC), an association of elite forces such as the Navy SEALS, Army Rangers, and Delta Force. His mission: to defeat al-Qaida in Iraq (AQI).
JSOC had technology, skills, and resources that were far superior to anything available to al-Qaida. Their outstanding troops and better organization gave them a clear, competitive advantage. And yet, by the summer of 2004, it was clear that while they were winning every individual firefight, they were still losing the war against al-Qaida.