"The liberation of Mosul and the inevitable, approaching liberation of Raqqa in Syria will not be the end of the Islamic State and its evil ideology. But they crush the group’s pretense to having an actual “state” based upon it. As its surviving leaders scurry to the corners of the desert, no longer can they claim to head a winning movement. Their defeat diminishes the inspiration for violent extremists, or simply lost souls on social media, to attack Americans and our friends. This is a necessary step forward in combating terrorism. Americans are safer for it."
Vera Mironova is an associate in the Belfer Center's International Security Program and a Ph.D. candidate in political science at University of Maryland. Her research explores individual-level behavior in conflict environments. Her doctoral dissertation examines the labor market for rebel recruitment in the Syrian civil war using surveys of fighters on the front lines (including members of Al Qaeda and ISIS). She is looking at why people fight, how they chose a particular group to join, and why some decide to quit. In addition to Syria, she hasconducted fieldwork in conflicts in Yemen, Iraq, Ukraine, D.R. Congo, Kosovo, Croatia, and Bosnia.
Her academic papers have been published in the American Economics Journal: Applied Economics, Journal of Experimental Political Science, and Journal of Conflict Resolution (forthcoming). Her writings and commentaries have also appeared in Foreign Affairs, Foreign Policy, the Washington Post, the New Republic and the National Interest, among others.Last Updated: Jul 6, 2017, 4:43pm