The following link goes to a PDF from the Strategic Studies Institute titled, “Defeating the Islamic State: Commentary on a Core Strategy”, written by Brigadier General (Ret.), Huba Wass de Czege. He states:
“In the rational pursuit of vital interests in any human undertaking,
the design of concrete actions to pursue them must subordinate to a
conceptual strategic design based on a well-researched theory of the
specific situation.1 Any such theory will be based on a combination of
hard data and educated guesses about what those data mean. The under-
lying research must encompass not only the historic sweep of similar
cases (history does not repeat, it educates), but it must also examine
the peculiarities and differences of the present situation compared to
any that came before. Finally, because of the differences between the
present case and those of the past, it must adapt, rather than adopt, past
practices. What results from such inquiry and contemplation is a rough
but useful strategic framework that can be adapted as learning occurs.
At the core of such a framework is a theory of the situation at the very
heart of the matter and a strategy for resolving it – a core strategy”
General Wass de Czege’s 7 page paper covers the components of a core strategy that would be flexible and adaptable from which to build supporting strategies and his attention to dealing with preventing power vacuums once the Islamic State is removed is a bottom up structure, which could be dynamic and useful. His idea offers a great deal of “learn and grow” potential, as it relies on grassroots local and tribal leaders to take charge of their communities, rather than trying to impose a national state structure and push a top down structure. This paper should be one to add to the top of the pile of working ideas on how to defeat the Islamic State.