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Omar Ashour

Jan 31, 2022

How Isis Fights

Military Tactics in Iraq, Syria, Libya and Egypt

Edinburgh University Press 2021

In How ISIS Fights: Military Tactics in Iraq, Syria, Libya and Egypt (Edinburgh UP, 2021), Omar Ashour has written a detailed and data-rich analysis of ISIS's way of war. He analyzes the tactical and operational levels of war to depict what makes ISIS successful and unique. He reveals that ISIS was tactically and organizationally innovative, redefining not just what a terrorist organization is, but what it does. Not only did SIS pioneer a number of highly innovative tactical and procedural techniques, it also built an extremely cohesive and coherent personnel structure characterized by intense loyalty, delegation and creativity. This book is essential for anyone wanting to understand what ISIS did, exactly, to gain battlefield success and what happened to cause it to lose those gains once made.

In our interview, we discuss the origin of this study, how ISIS franchises spread and cohered to the main body, its potential threats as an international terrorist organization and why it grew as quickly as it did. We also consider what the future might hold for ISIS.

Jeffrey Bristol holds a Ph.D. in Anthropology from Boston University, a J.D. from the University of Michigan and an M.A. in Middle Eastern Studies from the University of Chicago. He practices law, works as an independent scholar and serves as an officer in the US Navy Reserve. He lives with his wife and two children in Tampa, Fl.

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Jeffrey Bristol

Jeffrey Bristol holds a Ph.D. in Anthropology from Boston University, a J.D. from the University of Michigan and an M.A. in Middle Eastern Studies from the University of Chicago. He practices law, works as an independent scholar and serves as an officer in the US Navy Reserve. He lives with his wife and two children in Tampa, Fl.

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