The Islamic State is in Retreat

[Photo deleted at the request of AFP]

An interesting article today in the Washington Post (photo from Huffington Post):

The Islamic State is in Retreat

A few lines caught my attention:

  1. “The U.S. military estimated earlier this year that the Islamic State had lost 40 percent of the territory it controlled at its peak in 2014.”
  2. “Shadadi was going to be a major six-week operation….Instead, they completely collapsed.”
  3. “We could probably liberate Mosul tomorrow…”
  4. “…troops encountered little resistance, overrunning five mostly empty villages ahead of retreating militant fighters.”
  5. “…it is starting to become possible to foresee the group’s ultimate defeat, said Knights, who thinks that could come by the end of next year.”

Of course, by establishing an “Islamic State,” a guerilla movement has now developed a conventional mission to hold territory. This allows us to develop a more conventional war against them. There may still be a guerilla movement to deal with after the Islamic State has been reduced.



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Christopher A. Lawrence
Christopher A. Lawrence

Christopher A. Lawrence is a professional historian and military analyst. He is the Executive Director and President of The Dupuy Institute, an organization dedicated to scholarly research and objective analysis of historical data related to armed conflict and the resolution of armed conflict. The Dupuy Institute provides independent, historically-based analyses of lessons learned from modern military experience.
Mr. Lawrence was the program manager for the Ardennes Campaign Simulation Data Base, the Kursk Data Base, the Modern Insurgency Spread Sheets and for a number of other smaller combat data bases. He has participated in casualty estimation studies (including estimates for Bosnia and Iraq) and studies of air campaign modeling, enemy prisoner of war capture rates, medium weight armor, urban warfare, situational awareness, counterinsurgency and other subjects for the U.S. Army, the Defense Department, the Joint Staff and the U.S. Air Force. He has also directed a number of studies related to the military impact of banning antipersonnel mines for the Joint Staff, Los Alamos National Laboratories and the Vietnam Veterans of American Foundation.
His published works include papers and monographs for the Congressional Office of Technology Assessment and the Vietnam Veterans of American Foundation, in addition to over 40 articles written for limited-distribution newsletters and over 60 analytical reports prepared for the Defense Department. He is the author of Kursk: The Battle of Prokhorovka (Aberdeen Books, Sheridan, CO., 2015), America’s Modern Wars: Understanding Iraq, Afghanistan and Vietnam (Casemate Publishers, Philadelphia & Oxford, 2015), War by Numbers: Understanding Conventional Combat (Potomac Books, Lincoln, NE., 2017) , The Battle of Prokhorovka (Stackpole Books, Guilford, CT., 2019), The Battle for Kyiv (Frontline Books, Yorkshire, UK, 2023), Aces at Kursk (Air World, Yorkshire, UK, 2024), Hunting Falcon: The Story of WWI German Ace Hans-Joachim Buddecke (Air World, Yorkshire, UK, 2024) and The Siege of Mariupol (Frontline Books, Yorkshire, UK, 2024).
Mr. Lawrence lives in northern Virginia, near Washington, D.C., with his wife and son.

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One comment

  1. “The U.S. military estimated earlier this year that the Islamic State had lost 40 percent of the territory it controlled at its peak in 2014.”
    Lets put this up against the claims of the international (leftist) media: So many sorties without any effect compared to the lesser (economically strained) Russian strikes?
    The north is controlled by the Kurds, western areas by the Al Nusra front and there are still some Rebels left (in and around Aleppo).
    Nobody is asking the right questions: Where are the supply lines, the logistics of the IS? Who is financing them? Why did they suddenly appear in Libya and Tunesia and why during the Syrian civil war?
    I am afraid that the IS is nothing more than a tool in the hands of Putin and Assad to “discredit” the opposition (coat all of them as the same extremists), in order to bomb the living hell out of the rebels (and even target hospitals). An “intervention” camouflaged as an attempt to preserve the “status quo”. Afterall, Tartus and Latakia must be saved (and Iraq/Afghanistan, newly established democracies destabilized).

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