Professionally converted for accurate flowing-text e-book format reproduction, this study examines new strategies for combating the Islamic terror organization known as Daesh, ISIS, ISIL, or the Islamic State. The Islamic State in Iraq and Syria has taken the world by storm and is exhibiting no signs of relenting. Desperate to degrade and ultimately destroy Daesh, yet afraid to mire itself in another Middle Eastern conflict, the United States is relying on a minimalist strategy through military partnerships and air support. This research contends that this fairly conventional approach is ineffective. This thesis offers an alternative strategy to counter Daesh by utilizing social network analysis (SNA) to analyze Daesh's network and then apply principles of social movement theory (SMT) to encourage Daesh's implosion.
CHAPTER I * ISLAMIC STATE: AN ALTERNATIVE PERSPECTIVE * A. INTRODUCTION * B. SCOPE AND PURPOSE * C. THE PROBLEM * 1. Current U.S. Strategy * 2. Reanalyzing the Problem through an Alternative Framework * D. ASSUMPTIONS * E. RESEARCH QUESTION * F. METHODOLOGY * G. ORGANIZATION OF THE THESIS * CHAPTER II * LITERATURE REVIEW OF NETWORK DEVELOPMENT * A. MOBILIZING STRUCTURES AND NETWORKS * 1. Ties * B. LEADERSHIP: VERTICAL STRONG TIES * 1. Weber's Framework * 2. Daesh Authority within Weber's Framework * 3. Leadership Capital * 4. Daesh's Leadership Capital * 5. Clientelism * 6. Clientelism within Daesh * C. BROKERAGE AND CONNECTIVE TISSUES: HORIZONTAL WEAK TIES * D. OPERATIONAL CELLS: HORIZONTAL STRONG TIES * E. CONCLUSION * CHAPTER III * MAPPING THE HUMAN DOMAIN * A. THE NEW ARMY OPERATING CONCEPT * B. THE FUTURE OF ARMY SPECIAL OPERATIONS FORCES * C. HUMAN DOMAIN MAPPING IN THE NEW ARMY OPERATING CONCEPT * D. HUMAN DOMAIN MAPPING AND ARSOF 2022 * 1. UNCONVENTIONAL WARFARE AND HUMAN DOMAIN MAPPING * 2. ARSOF IPOE IN SUPPORT OF THE NEW AOC * E. HUMAN DOMAIN MAPPING IN A SOCIAL MOVEMENT THEORY APPROACH TO UNCONVENTIONAL WARFARE * CHAPTER IV * DAESH * A. DAESH'S NETWORK * B. DAESH SOCIOGRAM VISUAL DESCRIPTION * C. MOBILIZING STRUCTURES AND NETWORKS * D. LEADERSHIP: VERTICAL STRONG TIES * 1. Iraqi Baath Party and Republican Guard * E. BROKERAGE AND CONNECTIVE TISSUES: HORIZONTAL WEAK TIES * 1. Camp Bucca * 2. Brokerage and Brokerage Potential * 3. Daesh's Brokerage and Brokerage Potential * F. OPERATIONAL CELLS: HORIZONTAL STRONG TIES * G. CONCLUSION: DAESH'S MOBILIZING STRUCTURES * CHAPTER V * A SOCIALLY UNCONVENTIONAL STRATEGY * A. THE COUNTER-NARRATIVE * B. DISRUPTING THE NETWORK * C. LIMITING POLITICAL OPPORTUNITIES * D. CONCLUSION * LIST OF REFERENCES *
Some argue that the United States unwittingly created Daesh as a result of a poor foreign policy with blatant misinformation from the Bush Administration to drag the United States into a war against Saddam Hussein, while others argue that President Obama's weak foreign policy has allowed Daesh to flourish following the 2011 American troop withdraw from Iraq. The correct answer is likely a combination of the two; however, neither argument is prescriptively relevant. Dwelling on past foreign policy blunders does little, if anything, to alter the present and will certainly not help in defeating Daesh; instead, it only serves to polarize domestic politics. In the meanwhile, Daesh will persist. It will continue to preach its extreme version of Sunni Islam, recruit disenfranchised Muslim youths seeking a purpose in life, and perpetuate worldwide violence. While domestic issues will become an inevitable distraction, developing an effective strategy to defeat Daesh cannot be thought of as the next administration's problem. This begs the question, "Is the current strategy of United States-led air strikes supporting the training and equipping (T&E) of Iraqi Security Forces (ISF) and moderate Syrian opposition forces (MSOF) an effective strategy in 'degrading and ultimately destroying Daesh?"