“The documents and interviews with dozens of people who lived under their rule show that the group at times offered better services and proved itself more capable than the government it had replaced.They also suggest that the militants learned from mistakes the United States made in 2003 after it invaded Iraq, including the decision to purge members of Saddam Hussein’s ruling party from their positions and bar them from future employment. That decree succeeded in erasing the Baathist state, but also gutted the country’s civil institutions, creating the power vacuum that groups like ISIS rushed to fill.Islamic State fighters swept through the desert after seizing Mosul.
A little more than a decade later, after seizing huge tracts of Iraq and Syria, the militants tried a different tactic. They built their state on the back of the one that existed before, absorbing the administrative know-how of its hundreds of government cadres. An examination of how the group governed reveals a pattern of collaboration between the militants and the civilians under their yoke.
One of the keys to their success was their diversified revenue stream. The group drew its income from so many strands of the economy that airstrikes alone were not enough to cripple it.”
DL: This is one of the most amazing articles I’ve read in years. So much work, to understand so much destruction. Thank you to all who made this possible.