ISIS Returns to Old Strongholds in Iraq by Brandon Wallace – Institute for the Study of War
Key Takeaway: ISIS’s post-Caliphate insurgency in Iraq is accelerating faster than efforts to prevent it by the U.S. Anti-ISIS Coalition. ISIS is re-establishing capable insurgent networks in multiple historic strongholds and linking them together, setting the conditions for future offensive operations against the Government of Iraq. The U.S. and its partners should not view the current relative security in Baghdad as confirmation of the defeat of ISIS. The U.S. Anti-ISIS Coalition’s strategy to enable Iraq to “independently manage” an insurgency through intelligence support and other building partner capacity efforts will likely fail to prevent ISIS from regaining momentum based on its current trajectory in Iraq.