NYT: Afghan insurgents set aside rivalries - World news - The New York Times - msnbc.com By THOM SHANKER The New York Times WASHINGTON Rival militant organizations on both sides of the Afghanistan-Pakistan border have increasingly been teaming up in deadly raids, in what military and intelligence officials say is the insurgents latest attempt to regain the initiative after months of withering attacks from American and allied forces. New intelligence assessments from the region assert that insurgent factions now are setting aside their historic rivalries to behave like a syndicate, joining forces in ways not seen before. After one recent attack on a remote base in eastern Afghanistan, a check of the dead insurgents found evidence that the fighters were from three different factions, military officials said. In the past, these insurgent groups have been seen as sharing ideology and inspiration, but less often plans for specific missions. Now the intelligence assessments offer evidence of a worrisome new trend in which extremist commanders and their insurgent organizations are coordinating attacks and even combining their foot soldiers into patchwork patrols sent to carry out specific raids. The change reveals the resilience and flexibility of the militant groups. But at the same time, officials say, the unusual and expanding alliances suggest that the factions are feeling new military pressure. American and NATO officials say these decisions by insurgent leaders are the result of operations by American, Afghan and allied forces on one side of the border, and by the Pakistani military and American drone strikes on the other. If these people that hold grudges for generations are working together.... It must mean they are near the breaking point. And this strategy plays into our hands. No longer will we have to chase down this small group then that small group. They are forming larger groups that come at us to get killed. Looking good, this war could soon be over.