Fighting the Islamic State
“Although the Islamic State (IS) is relatively new to the general consciousness, its history and lineage trace back to the United States’ invasion of Iraq in 2003. The power vacuum left by the collapse of Saddam Hussein’s regime resulted in a power struggle that evolved from civil war to insurgency. By 2004, the Iraq War had spawned a subsidiary of al-Qaida calling itself al-Qaida in Iraq (AQI) and led by Abu Musab al-Zarqawi. AQI quickly gained a reputation for aggressive action and chilling brutality, prompting coalition forces in Iraq to devote enormous resources to pursue its leader and mastermind. In 2006, al-Zarqawi was killed by a U.S. airstrike, and AQI soon disappeared from the limelight of Western media coverage.
AQI, however, did not die with its leader; it rebranded itself as the Islamic State in Iraq and later as the Islamic State in Iraq and the Levant. By 2014, the organization had renamed itself again, now simply the Islamic State (IS), and under this name it reclaimed the attention of the world with an aggressive and brutal campaign that claimed large swaths of Iraq and Syria...”
Excerpt from Bryant Wu, “Fighting the Islamic State,” per Concordiam: Journal of European Security Defense Issues 7, No. 4, 2016: 48-53.
Bryant Wu retired as a U.S. Army intelligence analyst after 20 years of active duty. During his career, he served as a senior instructor at the U.S. Army Intelligence Center and as the senior enlisted instructor for the Expeditionary Intelligence Training Program at the NATO School Oberammergau.
This article reflects the views of the author and are not necessarily the official policy of the United States, Germany, or any other governments.