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Employment of Operational Art: Daeshs Offense into Iraq During the Summer of 2014

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Technical Report,25 Jun 2018,23 May 2019

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US Army School for Advanced Military Studies Fort Leavenworth United States

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In the Summer of 2014, the world learned of a new horror as the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant ISIL stormed its way into the sovereign state of Iraq. Fueled by a religious fervor and united through Salafist dogma, ISIL overwhelmed Iraqi Security Forces ISF through use of tempo and deliberate lines of operation to achieve strategic aims. Within a two-month period, ISIL advanced hundreds of kilometers, secured multiple population clusters, and established a governmental regime to replace the Iraqi government. With the withdrawal of US combat power from Iraq, and the lucrative investment of Iraqi forces, multiple questions remain unanswered. How could a group of jihadists, with limited training, armed with technical vehicles and various small arms weapons overwhelm the security forces of the Iraqi government Through the lens of Quranic warfare, this monograph argues that operational art was present during ISILs offensive action and consolidation activities. Understanding the deliberate methodologies of jihadist organizations, like ISIL, will enable todays military practitioners to further understand jihadists and their Salafist ideology. This monograph examines the presence of lines of operation, tempo, center of gravity, lines of effort, phasing and transitions during ISILs offensive and consolidation activities. The monograph discusses ISILs adherence to Salafist ideologies and the unique requirements to maintain a global caliphate. United by their interpretations of pure Sunni Islam, members of ISIL can converge both lethal and non-lethal action against belligerents. The monograph concludes with the understanding of ISILs deliberate arrangement of lethal and non-lethal activity to accomplish strategic objectives.

Subject Categories:

  • Military Operations, Strategy and Tactics

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