After Liberation: Assessing Stabilization Efforts in Areas of Iraq Cleared of the Islamic State

After Liberation: Assessing Stabilization Efforts in Areas of Iraq Cleared of the Islamic State. Center for American Progress. Hardin Lang and Muath Al Wari. July 26, 2016.

Two years on, the U.S.-led campaign against the Islamic State, or IS, has achieved some important gains. This is particularly true in Iraq, where the liberation of Fallujah last month has focused attention on Mosul—the capital of the so-called caliphate. But military victory is only half the battle. As the Islamic State is pushed out of Iraqi cities and towns, the communities it ruled must be integrated back into Iraq. Nature abhors a vacuum; the U.S.-led Global Coalition to Counter ISIL should do more to support the Iraqi government in filling that vacuum. For its part, the Iraqi government itself must display a greater commitment to inclusive governance that reinforces its own legitimacy. [Note: contains copyrighted material].

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The Islamic State’s Acolytes and the Challenges They Pose to U.S. Law Enforcement

The Islamic State’s Acolytes and the Challenges They Pose to U.S. Law Enforcement. Congressional Research Service, Library of Congress. Jerome P. Bjelopera. April 19, 2016.

Analysis of publicly available information on homegrown violent jihadist activity in the United States since September 11, 2001, suggests that the Islamic State (IS) and its acolytes may pose broad challenges to domestic law enforcement and homeland security efforts. Homegrown IS–inspired plots can be broken into three rough categories based on the goals of the individuals involved. The first two focus on foreign fighters, the last on people willing to do harm in the United States.

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Coalition Contributions to Countering the Islamic State

Coalition Contributions to Countering the Islamic State. Congressional Research Service, Library of Congress. Kathleen J. McInnis. April 13, 2016.

On September 10, 2014, President Obama announced the formation of a global coalition to “degrade and ultimately defeat” the Islamic State (IS, aka the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant, ISIL/ISIS or the Arabic acronym Da’esh). According to the U.S. State Department, there are currently 66 participants in the coalition. Each country is contributing to the coalition in a manner commensurate with its national interests and comparative advantage. The brief report offers several figures. The first is a map of the training and capacity building bases across Iraq, and key nations operating out of those bases as reported by United States Central Command and supplemented with open source reporting. The second is a table depicting participants in the military campaign, and what specifically each country is contributing in terms of military forces.

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Women and Violent Extremism: A Growing Threat Demands Concerted Action

Women and Violent Extremism: A Growing Threat Demands Concerted Action. U.S. Institute of Peace. Fred Strasser. August 3, 2015.

The extremist organization ISIS manipulates gender dynamics far better than its opponents often understand. It recruits young men with promises of control over women and uses mass rape as a form of cohesion. At the same time, it lures isolated women with appeals to enlarge their lives by joining a cause. Policymakers seeking to address the role of women in countering violent extremism must take an equally layered, multi-pronged approach to gender, according to experts from government, the United Nations and civil society. [Note: contains copyrighted material].

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A Year Later, U.S. Campaign Against ISIS Garners Support, Raises Concerns

A Year Later, U.S. Campaign Against ISIS Garners Support, Raises Concerns. Pew Research Center. July 22, 2015.

Nearly a year after the United States launched its first airstrikes against ISIS, the public remains broadly supportive of the military campaign. Yet Americans also have persistent doubts about how well the U.S. military effort is going, and there is no agreement about whether the U.S. should deploy ground troops as part of the military campaign in Iraq and Syria. [Note: contains copyrighted material].

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Climate Change Seen as Top Global Threat

Climate Change Seen as Top Global Threat. Pew Research Center. Jill Carle. July 14, 2015.

In advance of the United Nations Climate Change Conference in Paris this December, many publics around the world name global climate change as a top threat, according to the survey measuring perceptions of international challenges. This is particularly true in Latin America and Africa, where majorities in most countries say they are very concerned about this issue. But as the Islamic militant group ISIS maintains its hold in Iraq and Syria and intensifies its grisly public executions, Europeans and Middle Easterners most frequently cite ISIS as their main concern among international issues. [Note: contains copyrighted material].

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Challenge of “Recent-ism” in the Middle East

Challenge of “Recent-ism” in the Middle East. YaleGlobal. Alexander Evans. June 25, 2015.

Governments can get caught up in sweeping generalizations about the brutal extremists rampaging through Iraq, Syria and Libya based on the most recent news. ISIL, ISIS, the Islamic State have slaughtered thousands and may control up to half of Syria and a third of Iraq. The extremists’ hold over any community is tenuous. Hundreds of thousands flee the conflict, and the international community invests billions in counter-intelligence and airstrikes that bombard key holdings. Alexander Evans, who leads the UN Security Council’s expert panel on Al Qaeda, breaks down some myths about the extremists and offers recommendations. [Note: contains copyrighed material].

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