A new Rand report argues that the so-called Caliphate that ISIS declared is on the path to destruction. ISIS is losing territory and population at a considerable pace.This map is instructive
Lost territory and population means lost revenue. It is also less influential than it was in recruiting new members.
That is the good news. The bad news is that ISIS will not disappear any time too soon. It is morphing into a clandestine operation that will try to continue making terrorist attacks.
“Fully eliminating the threat the Islamic State poses will require continued American leadership for years to come,” the report said. “… In the short and perhaps medium terms, this contraction in territorial control may actually lead to more terrorist attacks across the globe. But over time, the group’s capacity to recruit, fund, organize, and inspire such attacks will likely diminish, and its brand may lose its allure if the Islamic State no longer controls territory in Iraq and Syria.”
Hopefully, ISIS will be dislodged from Mosul soon. That operation by the Iraqi security forces is going more slowly than expected.