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Battling a three-headed beast?: A study of the Islamic State and the Global Coalition response, in light of CT, COIN and jihadi proto-state theory
Swedish National Defence College.
2016 (English)Independent thesis Advanced level (degree of Master (One Year)), 10 credits / 15 HE creditsStudent thesis
Abstract [en]

This paper examines how the Islamic State (IS) in Syria and Iraq can be understood in light of theoretical ideal types of terrorism, insurgency and jihadi proto-states and whether counter terrorism (CT), counter insurgency (COIN) and jihadi proto-state theory can help identify different strands of the sixty-six nation Global Coalition effort against IS and possible risks and opportunities to the campaign. The study draws on primary sources in the shape of public documents and statements issued by governments, the UN and IS. The findings reveal that, while IS remains firmly committed to its jihadi ideology, it could today usefully be understood as an insurgent group so successful that that it has created its own proto-state. IS still, however, seeks to promote its political interests and compensate for its conventional military weakness by making frequent use of terrorist tactics.While coalition leaders portray IS as a terrorist group, the Coalition’s “counter terrorism campaign” has clear elements of both CT, COIN and tools undermining the proto-state strand of IS activity. Furthermore, CT, COIN and proto-state theories can help flag risks and opportunities to the Coalition, by providing additional conceptual lenses for understanding IS and potential counter-measures and by highlighting possible offsetting effects between CT and COIN.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2016. , 45 p.
Keyword [en]
terrorism, insurgency, proto-state, Islamic State
National Category
Political Science
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:fhs:diva-6322OAI: oai:DiVA.org:fhs-6322DiVA: diva2:1033782
Subject / course
Statsvetenskap med inriktning mot krishantering och säkerhet (Master's programme in Politics and War)
Educational program
Master's programme in Politics and War
Uppsok
Social and Behavioural Science, Law
Supervisors
Examiners
Available from: 2016-10-19 Created: 2016-10-10 Last updated: 2016-10-19Bibliographically approved

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CiteExportLink to record
Permanent link

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Citation style
  • apa
  • harvard1
  • ieee
  • modern-language-association-8th-edition
  • vancouver
  • Other style
More styles
Language
  • de-DE
  • en-GB
  • en-US
  • fi-FI
  • nn-NO
  • nn-NB
  • sv-SE
  • Other locale
More languages
Output format
  • html
  • text
  • asciidoc
  • rtf