Accession Number:



U.S. Counter-ISIL Strategy: Appropriate and Successful, but Needs Adjustments

Descriptive Note:

Technical Report,01 Aug 2016,01 Mar 2017

Corporate Author:

NDU/JFSC Joint Advanced Warfighting School Norfolk United States

Personal Author(s):

Report Date:


Pagination or Media Count:



To counter ISIL, in November 2014, President Obama set forth a comprehensive whole-of-government strategy, comprised of nine lines of effort, with four main objectives. The purpose of this strategy was not only to degrade and defeat ISIL, but also to ultimately facilitate effective governance in Iraq and stabilize the region. With a combination of a fragile Iraqi government and the instability in the region, a large and growing body of literature suggest that the current strategy is unsuccessful andor is not the appropriate strategy to defeat ISIL thereby leaving the organization as a credible threat. This thesis shows that the counter-ISIL strategy, set forth by President Obama, is the appropriate strategy to combat the insurgency of ISIL, and is successful within its given constraints. An analysis of the U.S. and Partner Nations ability to shrink ISIL score, decrease its amount of controlled territory, and the destruction of its infrastructure reveals the success of the strategy. Military planners face the challenge of fighting non-state actors on multiple fronts, in various phases of war, while preparing for regional peace and stability. Understanding the U.S. counter-ISIL strategy and appreciating its effectiveness provides planners the framework to shape future operations and contingencies.

Subject Categories:

  • Military Operations, Strategy and Tactics

Distribution Statement: