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How to defeat Islamic State's war machine

The Islamic State has to be recognized as a lethal and effective war machine at the tactical level.
Smoke rises after an U.S.-led air strike in the Syrian town of Kobani Ocotber 10, 2014. Islamic State fighters advanced deeper into the Syrian town of Kobani on the Turkish border on Friday, taking almost complete control of an area where the local Kurdish administration is based, a group monitoring the violence reported.  REUTERS/Umit Bektas (SYRIA  - Tags: CIVIL UNREST MILITARY CONFLICT)   - RTR49OPT
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Although much has been written to explain the tactical military successes of the Islamic State (IS), there has not yet been a comprehensive assessment of how, since June 2014, IS has managed to rule over terrain larger than Lebanon to include 8 million Iraqis and Syrians.

How has it been possible that in a short three months IS has been able to control extensive terrain, with 3,000 IS fighters capturing Mosul, which was guarded by 30,000 Iraqi soldiers, and after seizing Mosul on June 10 engage in battles two days later with Iraqi forces in towns north of Baghdad, 230 miles from Mosul?

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