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The Insurgency Business: The Islamic State in Iraq and Syria, 2010-2016

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Technical Report

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Naval Postgraduate School Monterey United States

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The Islamic State ISalso known as Islamic State of Iraq and the Syria ISISmanaged to seize large swaths of territory within the sovereign countries of Iraq and Syria from 2011 to 2016. Even though its caliphate has been reduced in size and scope in 2017, the ISs entrepreneurial capability to effectively manage money, manpower, and materiel has enabled it to develop its brand as the deadliest and most widely known terrorist organization. The narrative of the IS being a governing body promoted a value proposition of financial stability, security, religious structure for divine worship, and camaraderie, thus enticing local and global customers to its brand and furthermore allowing the group to recruit talented individuals to support the caliphate. Using the human capital it cultivated, the IS developed its organizational structure and promoted its brand through entrepreneurial ingenuity, which included plundering, fabricating, and acquiring war materiel, to support its strategic objectives. The IS is generally more organized and sophisticated than any other regional non-state actor or traditional terrorist group such as Al-Qaeda. In conclusion, the ISs short-term politico-military successes and global media coverage over the last several years have enabled the group to establish a franchise that draws in the money, manpower, and materiel that allow it to continue being the worlds most recognized terrorist brand.

Subject Categories:

  • Unconventional Warfare

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