Winning Battles, Losing Wars

Lt. Gen. James M. Dubik

Col. Harry G. Summers Jr. begins his book, On Strategy: The Vietnam War in Context, by relaying the following conversation: “‘You know you never defeated us on the battlefield,’ said the American colonel. 

US continue air strikes on Islamic State targets in Kobani

ISW Senior Naval Analyst Christopher Harmer, discuss and analyzes an ISIS video posted online showing grenades, which it is claiming were dropped by US forces.

Will ISIS Take Baghdad?

ISW's Research Director Jessica Lewis talks with Mary Kissel on why air strikes aren’t stopping the advance of Islamic State terrorists.

Opinion: U.S. strategy against Islamic State is too much air, not enough boots

After 50 days of obvious failure, it's time to consider an approach that might work: Get American special forces on the ground with the Sunni Arabs themselves. 

ISW's General James M. Dubik joins State of the Union to discuss whether ISIS has the ability to bring down American planes wit

ISW's General James M. Dubik joins State of the Union to discuss whether ISIS has the ability to bring down American planes with anti-aircraft missiles.

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The Iraq Project at the Institute for the Study of War produces detailed publications that monitor and analyze the changing security and political dynamics within Iraq. Topics include: understanding the evolving nature of Iraqi politics and Iraq’s democratic transition; evaluating Iraq’s security after U.S. forces withdraw; and analyzing the influence and behavior of regional actors in Iraq.

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Featured Publications

Iraq Situation Report: November 10 - 19, 2015

The combined Kurdish offensive against ISIS in Sinjar is less significant as a tactical gain against ISIS than as a symbolic victory for multiple Kurdish factions that will ultimately compete for dominance. 

Control Map of Ramadi: November 11, 2015

Iraqi Security Forces have advanced towards and are proximate to infrastructure necessary for assault on downtown Ramadi.

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ISW in the News

LTG Dubik on the Fight for Tikrit

“The concern [over Shi’a militias] is what happens after the battle.  Will there be sectarian violence?…  Or will there be a relatively inclusive kind of governance and even-handed governance?  If it’s the latter, that will bode well for the future.  If it’s the former, these will be big problems.”

The Fight for Mosul

Mosul is a “very big target to start the counter-offensive with and the stakes will be pretty high to make sure that it’s successful.”  Signaling the move on Mosul by U.S. was “really foolish.”