The problem with Mosul is that it's always been treated as an economy of force mission. My brigade replaced a division, and then we had a battalion pulled from us. Lo and behold, the insurgents were able to set up networks and make Mosul a hornet's nest. 1/25 ID (SBCT) did some heavy fighting and cleared Mosul pretty darn well, and with 3 ACR taking on Tall Afar, it allowed for an even greater troop concentration in Mosul. However, 1/1 AD, which replaced 3 ACR, was sent to Ramadi where they did yeoman's work, and Mosul once again became an economy of force mission, with only a battalion in Mosul for nearly the past year until just a few months ago. Lo and behold, the problems have flared again.
BTW, the road in the top picture from the CSM article was one of the main roads in my sector. It's strange to see it without bustling traffic.