Small Wars Journal

It’s Not Just ISIS. Many Terrorist Groups Have Been Declared Dead — Only to Rise Again.

It’s Not Just ISIS. Many Terrorist Groups Have Been Declared Dead - Only to Rise Again. By Rick Noack – Washington Post

When political leaders have announced the defeat of terrorist groups in the past, a certain degree of skepticism often would have been warranted. It’s perhaps too early to tell if the same lesson applies to the most recent group to be declared dead: the Islamic State, which according to a tweet by President Trump last month and remarks by Vice President Pence on Wednesday, has now been defeated.

 

The alleged defeat of the group by anti-ISIS coalition forces was Trump’s main argument to justify his decision to withdraw U.S. military personnel from Syria, despite objections by his own advisers.

 

Less than a month later, on Wednesday, four Americans were killed in an attack in the Syrian city of Manbij, inevitably raising new doubts over any assessment that the Islamic State is beaten. The Islamic State could still succeed in reinventing itself, my colleague Adam Taylor writes, noting that “defeating an insurgent group that uses guerrilla tactics and terrorism is more difficult than beating a group that is trying to actually hold ground.”

 

A look back in history shows that it certainly would not be the first group to morph into something different while maintaining its deadly mission…

Read on.