Author Topic: By Their Own Hand: The Seven Steps to the Destruction of the Islamic State Caliphate  (Read 313 times)

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Offline rangerrebew

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By Their Own Hand: The Seven Steps to the Destruction of the Islamic State Caliphate

Michael J. Mooney

“Fools pretend that you can only gain experience at your own expense, but I have always managed to learn at the expense of others.”[1] Attributed to the master Prussian politician and architect of German unification Otto von Bismarck, this sentiment was likewise embraced by George C. Marshall, arguably the preeminent American soldier-statesman of the 20th century.  After the defeat of the Axis powers in 1945, Marshall was specifically interested in discovering the actions the enemy themselves put into motion which prevented the achievement of their political objectives. Beyond the military superiority and industrial might brought to bear by the Allies, “of almost equal importance,” he stated, “was the failure of the enemy to make the most of the situation.”[2] At critical moments, he opined, the enemy made strategic mistakes in their long-range planning that greatly contributed to their own defeat.[3] Some 70 years later, the same can be said about the Islamic State. Borrowing Marshall’s premise, this essay explores the strategic and operational missteps of the Islamic State which resulted in the collapse of their caliphate in Iraq and Syria.
“A society does not ever die ‘from natural causes’, but always dies from suicide or murder – and nearly always from the former….”
    ― Arnold Joseph Toynbee’s A Study of History.

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