The Fight Against the Islamic State Is Far from Over

(Geopolitical Futures) Jacob L. Shapiro - It took nearly nine months for Iraqi security forces to dislodge IS from Mosul despite the fact that they significantly outnumbered IS forces and were backed by the U.S. (By comparison, it took IS only two weeks to take Mosul.) The Islamic State could not have lasted as long as it did without a fair amount of local support. The population of the majority Sunni city doesn't trust the central government and so Iraq's fundamental problems remain unresolved. Iraqi security forces were so bloodied in the battle of Mosul that they will be in no rush to resume the fight in other IS-controlled areas such as those in Anbar province. Moreover, the death of Islamic State leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi is irrelevant. Groups like the Islamic State are more hydra than snake: Cutting off the head doesn't kill the body, it just creates new heads. Islamic State is not yet defeated. It still holds defensible territory stretching from Deir el-Zour to Abu Kamal. It still conducts terrorist attacks. And it still tries to infiltrate surrounding countries, most notably Jordan and Saudi Arabia.

2017-07-14 00:00:00

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