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Evaluating the US Counter-ISIL Strategy

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Technical Report,05 Jul 2016,25 May 2017

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US Army School for Advanced Military Studies Fort Leavenworth United States

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Although ISIL is not an existential threat to the United States or its allies, it will continue to inflict many casualties world-wide and commit uncountable atrocities in Iraq and Syria. The current US strategy is putting pressure on ISIL militarily and economically but it will take a long time. The sixty-two nation coalition has already arrested ISILs expansion and allowed the Iraqi Security Forces to gain back ground. The coalitions operations will continue to erode ISILs finances, legitimacy, and aspirations of becoming an actual state. The most significant obstacle that the United States faces in this conflict is the lack of governance in Syria to provide for the people. Until this exists, ISIL or another similar group, will always have a following. Also, efforts to paint ISIL as not Islamic are problematic because their leader has a PhD in Islamic studies and they use media very effectively to show the religious legitimacy of their actions. Finally, efforts to prevent the flow of ISIL supporters into Syria and Iraq could cause more attacks at home.

Subject Categories:

  • Military Operations, Strategy and Tactics

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