Cover: Knowing the Enemy

Knowing the Enemy

Understanding the Islamic State and Principles for Defeating It

Published Mar 21, 2017

by Terrence K. Kelly, James Dobbins, Barbara Sude, Ben Connable

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معرفة العدو: فهم الدولة الإسلامية والمبادئ اللازمة لهزيمتها

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In this Perspective, RAND researchers help identify threats to U.S. interests posed by the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL), propose a context in which ISIL should be judged (particularly ISIL's character and motivations, as well as key regional and global issues that frame the context), provide an initial framework for interpreting these data and insights, and outline a way ahead for developing and assessing courses of action and generating concrete options. This paper does not attempt to develop discrete courses of action or critique current ones; rather, it seeks to outline general principles that U.S. policymakers must consider when conceiving and weighing appropriate strategies to combat ISIL.

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This research was conducted within the Strategy, Doctrine, and Resources Program within the RAND Arroyo Center.

This commentary is part of the RAND expert insight series. RAND Expert Insights present perspectives on timely policy issues. All RAND Expert Insights undergo peer review to ensure high standards for quality and objectivity.

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