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Theory of an Emerging-State Actor: The Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS) Case
Open AccessArticle

Application of Emerging-State Actor Theory: Analysis of Intervention and Containment Policies

Worcester Polytechnic Institute, 100 Institute Rd, Worcester, MA 01609, USA
This paper is a revised version of our paper published in Proceedings of the 34th International Conference of the System Dynamics Society, Delft, The Netherlands, 17–21 July 2016.
Systems 2018, 6(2), 17; https://doi.org/10.3390/systems6020017
Received: 8 March 2018 / Revised: 15 May 2018 / Accepted: 15 May 2018 / Published: 20 May 2018
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Theory and Practice in System Dynamics Modelling)
Our research builds upon a theory of emerging-state actors. We look to apply the theory in analyzing intervention and containment policies to use against emerging-state actors, using the Islamic State of Syria & Iraqi (ISIS) as the case study. We show utility across four military applications of simulation: understanding, forecasting and responding to adversary and societal behavior; understanding enemy command and control structures; and analyzing, forecasting and planning courses-of-action (COA). To do this, we created two baseline scenarios—one replicating the historical foreign intervention against ISIS and a counter-factual where no foreign intervention occurred. We then conducted a suite of experiments on contemporary military intervention policies in isolation, combination, at different timing windows and under hypothetical “best case” conditions as well as operationally constrained. Insights of these experiments’ tests include the influence of ethnographic envelopes, timing windows, the importance of actor legitimacy and the marginally diminishing returns of combat actions. Finally, we test a policy based on emerging-state actor theory incorporating these insights against the contemporary policies, historical baseline and two falsification policies. The emerging-state actor COA performs significantly better than others. Our research contributes a simulation, called the Emerging-State Actor Model (E-SAM). This simulation includes military, economic, political, social and information aspects (known asDIME-PMESII simulations) for both researchers and military planners concerned with irregular conflict. View Full-Text
Keywords: The Islamic State, Islamic State of Syria & Iraq(ISIS); ISIL; DAESH; insurgency; conflict; security; non-state actor; emerging-state actor; intervention; policy analysis; DIME-PMESII The Islamic State, Islamic State of Syria & Iraq(ISIS); ISIL; DAESH; insurgency; conflict; security; non-state actor; emerging-state actor; intervention; policy analysis; DIME-PMESII
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Clancy, T. Application of Emerging-State Actor Theory: Analysis of Intervention and Containment Policies . Systems 2018, 6, 17.

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