Journal of Defense Studies and Resource ManagementISSN: 2324-9315

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How to Defeat the Islamic State: Crafting a Rational War Strategy

This essay examines Islamic State of Iraq and al-Sham (ISIS) caliphate and the security challenges the jihadist state portends. These problems have been poorly addressed by the Obama Administration’s low cost/minimum risk containment policy. Above all the essay is concerned with crafting an alternative war strategy to destroy the caliphate’s institutional edifice. The analysis has four parts. First, the roots of ISIS’ formation are explained. Second, the caliphate’s emergence and the security challenges it presents to regional and international order are discussed. Third, the failure of Western policy makers to address this problem is presented. Fourth, an alternative war plan is developed to exploit the strategic vulnerabilities of the jihadist transnational state.

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