This section features work authored by Frederick W. Kagan, director of the Critical Threats Project, and Kimberly Kagan, president of the Institute for the Study of War, on the conflict in Iraq.


Iran's Domestic Political Scene and the Nuclear Deal

By Marie Donovan, October 5, 2015

Ali Reza Zakani, head of the commission to review the nuclear agreement in Iran's Parliament has been given a plum opportunity to build a national reputation as the Principlist opponent of Rouhani on the most prominent issue of Rouhani’s presidency. Who is he and why was he given this appointment?

The Evil of Our Time

The Islamic State (ISIS) is not a terrorist organization. It is an army of conquest destroying all traces of civilization in the lands that it holds. It has taken root in Iraq and Syria, but its evil threatens the whole world. The US must find an answer.

The Fall of Ramadi was Avoidable

The seizure of Ramadi on Sunday leaves President Obama’s strategy against the Islamic State in ruins not only in Iraq but also throughout the Muslim world.This is what happens when a policy of half-measures, restrictions and posturing meets a skillful and determined enemy on the battlefield.

The Growing Cyberthreat from Iran: The Initial Report of Project Pistachio Harvest

Iran is emerging as a significant cyberthreat to the US and its allies. The size and sophistication of the nation’s hacking capabilities have grown markedly over the last few years, and Iran has already penetrated well-defended networks in the US and Saudi Arabia and seized and destroyed sensitive data.

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 against ISIS: Get American special forces on the ground with the Sunni Arabs themselves. The only other alternative is to resign ourselves to living with an Al Qaeda state and army.

In Fight Against ISIS, the U.S. Must Lead, and Not Rely on Allies

The Islamic State is a threat to the United States of America, and that is the primary reason we must defeat it. The United States has capabilities that no other state or group in the world has, and that is why we must lead this effort.

A Strategy to Defeat the Islamic State

The Islamic State is a clear and present danger to the security of the U.S. We must therefore pursue an iterative approach that tests basic assumptions, develops our understanding, and builds partnerships with willing parties on the ground, especially the Sunni Arabs in Iraq.

Obama's 'Strategy' Has No Chance of Success

A counter-terrorism strategy will not succeed against the Islamic State because it is not just a terrorist group anymore.

If West Cannot Live With Islamic State It Must Do All That's Needed To Defeat It On The Ground

By Frederick W. Kagan, August 23, 2014

Air attacks alone will not be enough to deal with ISIS now that it controls so much of Syria and Iraq - and threatens the US and Europe.

Testimony: Moving Beyond Fear - Addressing the Threat of the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria

By Frederick W. Kagan, July 24, 2014

The establishment and expansion of the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria (IS) represents a step-change in the threat to American homeland security and national security generally. This is the first time that an al Qaeda-affiliated group has made the leap from stateless terrorist organization to a quasi-state with a combat-effective army and the resources of a modern urban region at its disposal.