Analysis & Opinions - Foreign Affairs

The New ISIS Insurgency: What Jihadists Do After Losing Territory

| Jan. 09, 2017

Late last year, Iraqi army intelligence issued a security warning for southern Salahadin, which it had recently recaptured: an Islamic State (ISIS) insurgent group threatened to kill Shiite pilgrims who were on their way to holy sites in Samara. Although the Iraqi military had made remarkable progress reinstating control over Anbar, Northern Diyala, and Salahadin, the news was sobering. More than anything, it recalled the kind of insurgent activity that plagued Iraq from 2004 to 2008, and it raised a question: can Baghdad really end the war?

Whatever the security forces might hope, after a defeat, ISIS members don't simply give up their cause or switch their allegiance; they merely change their tactics....

For more information on this publication: Belfer Communications Office
For Academic Citation: Mironova, Vera and Mohammed Hussein.“The New ISIS Insurgency: What Jihadists Do After Losing Territory.” Foreign Affairs, January 9, 2017.

The Authors