I. Conceptual Organization: Evolution & Longevity Framework (Dr. Allison Astorino- Courtois, 3 NSI)

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1 I. Conceptual Organization: Evolution & Longevity Framework (Dr. Allison Astorino- Courtois, 3 NSI) The core value of any SMA project is in bringing together analyses based in different disciplines, methodologies, and analytic approaches not necessarily to hammer out a single answer but to uncover consistencies and inconsistencies among them and, similar to working a jigsaw puzzle, identify how the individual pieces combine to provide a clearer picture than any single one might. This project, and thus the Figure 1 Longevity Framework organizing concept, was centered on two questions: What are the intangible factors that make ISIL so magnetic, inspirational, and deeply resonant with a specific, but large, portion of the Islamic population? and How durable is the organization versus the idea or ideology likely to be? In other words, what is the nature of for ISIL, and are we facing a flash- in- the- pan or a more durable movement capable of achieving its military, religious, and political goals? The purpose of this organizing framework was to 1) provide a common vocabulary and standard scale for discussing this complex issue; 2) lay out the landscape or schools of thought regarding the intangibles that explain ISIL and achievement; 3) guide identification of intangible factors that explain ISIL growth or decline; and 4) help distinguish those factors that relate to ISIL specifically (i.e., as the organization and the brand ) versus those that relate more broadly to a sustained militant radical Islamist ideology and movement. The first thing to note about the Longevity Framework (Figure 1) is that it rests on a map. Clearly, neither ISIL s rise nor for the militant Islamist idea it represents can be explained without considering the historical, cultural, political, and social context within which it emerged. Considering the dynamics of the regional context, the framework broadens the analytic focus from ISIL the organization to include the larger militant radical Islamist movement and groups that may arise subsequent to ISIL. In 3 DISTRIBUTION A: Approved for public release; distribution is unlimited 15

2 addition, the framework is intended to be a thinking tool, rather than a way to generate answers, and although ISIL is central in this effort, the framework is built to be generic enough to apply to similar groups or used as a frame for continual assessment of the evolving nature of ISIL or other groups. The framework consists of five continua reflecting two higher- level constructs affinity for the group and implementation of the idea or ideology that represent the organizational attributes and conditions requisite for a revolutionary movement to evolve into a functioning government. These are the nature of general, grassroots popular for, or acquiescence to, ISIL (civilian ); the degree of from the broader Sunni community from which fighters, aid, legitimacy, and leadership of the global radical Islamist movement might be gained (umma 4 ); the nature of the response of the international community (external ); the degree to which ISIL is entrenched in its area of responsibility (AOR) (local power network); and ISIL s success in controlling territory and people in order to grow its base of operations (capacity to control). Here again, the focus was not on counting hardware, like numbers of trucks or guns, but on the intangible aspects of ISIL s ability to influence and control in other words, how ISIL is able to incentivize people to behave in a certain way (e.g., through intimidation, provision of services, etc.) Using the Framework For this study, the Longevity Framework was used as a common reference point for discussion, debate, and for integrating insights from diverse analytic approaches and data. It is also a fairly straightforward way to characterize the type of adversary ISIL represents based on the type of it has and its capacity to control. Specifically, different sets of positions on each of the five continua present very high- level characterizations of what we believe we are facing with ISIL. For example, analysis indicating that ISIL has significant civilian but limited capacity to control and external, would be describing an ISIL adversary that is essentially a grassroots movement. By comparison, if our analyses indicated that ISIL had very little local and that its capacity to maintain control was primarily the result of violent activities underwritten by external actors, we would be looking at an adversary with questionable governing legitimacy and one that may have difficulty expanding too far. These high- level distinctions are important because they 1) can change over time and with US and coalition actions, 2) might be used as markers of ISIL evolution, and 3) suggest significantly different strategies for successfully opposing one type of adversary versus the other. 4 It is important to recognize the varied and contested meaning of the term umma. Although it refers to the broader Muslim community, there is can be disagree on who is or is not a member of this community. ISIL in particular has extremely specific ideas about who is admitted to the true community of Muslims the true umma. For this project we have used umma to refer to the world- wide Sunni Muslim community. Authors of subsequent papers in the volume have been encouraged to specify when they are using umma in more specific ways. DISTRIBUTION A: Approved for public release; distribution is unlimited 16

3 Each of the five framework continua ranges from conditions associated with a short- lived group to an institutionalized governing entity. The definitions and descriptions of five- point scales for each are detailed below. External (State) Support Framing Question: What is the nature of international or other external (or non- ) for ISIL? Definition: External for ISIL includes active and passive political or material from nation- states or other non- Muslim international actors (other than Iraq or Syria) based on their own direct or regional interests. Examples of actors in this category are Saudi Arabia, Jordan, Iran, Turkey, Qatar, etc. Covert/ tacit Overt Int l political recognition External Support Description Unanimous international condemnation and to ISIL and its program possibly including broad international mobilization to defeat ISIL Very passive or tacit from states or non- Muslim organizations; non- against ISIL, its goals and objectives across numerous regions of the world including Muslim/Middle Eastern states; only few states less critical interests served by ISIL success Some, particularly regional states or non- Muslim organizations, have interests directly served by ISIL although active mainly covert and limited to facilitating measures (e.g., cross- border transit, delivery of small arms); may be active but involves small core of actors A number of states or non- Muslim actors have important interests that are directly served by ISIL and are willing to offer overt diplomatic and non- military material ; direct and active to ISIL involves only a few actors Broadly- based and overt international military and diplomatic including official recognition and respect for borders Local Elite Power Base Framing Question: What is the relationship between ISIL and local leaders? Definition: The elite power base refers to local family, village, tribal, or other non- ISIL leaders or power networks in Iraq and Syria both inside and outside ISIL controlled areas. Included in this category are issues relating to the nature of ISIL among local elites including the means by which local leader is garnered by, for example, the perceived value in patronage and money or safety that for or acquiescence to ISIL control provides local power brokers. /primarily fear- based Disjointed/ mixed Broad/ primarily reward- based Entrenched /strong; loyal Local Elite Power Base Description There is no passive or active for or acquiescence to ISIL control or governance among local leaders ISIL among local leaders is primarily fear- based acquiescence with a weak basis for providing value (material or psychic) to sustain powerbroker ISIL among local leaders amounts mainly to acquiescence with limited perceived value of ing ISIL along with some pockets of leaders perceiving rewards (psychic or material) from active ISIL among local leaders is primarily reward- based passive or active with what leaders see as a solid basis for ISIL to continue providing value (material or psychic) ISIL largely perceived to provide reliable and durable value in exchange for power brokers active and participation; entrenched local leader with means of sustainment DISTRIBUTION A: Approved for public release; distribution is unlimited 17

4 Civilian Support Framing Question: What accounts for civilian for ISIL? Definition: For this study, the civilian population was defined as individuals and/or groups of individuals resident in Iraq or Syria either inside or outside ISIL controlled areas. Because the construct refers to a continuum of from none/weak for ISIL governance to strong or perceived legitimacy of ISIL governance, study participants considered the intangibles that account for acquiescence or as well as those that account for passive and active. /primarily fear- based Disjointed/ mixed Primarily reward- based Strong; loyal Civilian Support Description No non- elite popular of or acquiescence to ISIL ideas, values, and leadership; significant and active grassroots to ISIL attempts to control Acquiescence to or apparent of ISIL ideas and objectives among local non- elite population based primarily in fear of retribution; i.e., little to no popularly perceived legitimacy ISIL among local (non- elite) population limited mainly to acquiescence with small pockets of people choosing to align with and assign legitimacy to ISIL leadership and objectives even without the threat of coercive measures. ISIL among non- elite locals is primarily reward- based (psychic or material) passive or active with widening grassroots perception of ISIL leaders and institutions as legitimate Broad- based and committed grassroots for ISIL ideas, objectives, and perception of ISIL leadership and institutions as legitimate governors Capacity to Control Framing Question: What are the non- military or intangible means by which ISIL is able to control physical space and the people in it? Definition: Capacity to control refers to the (non- strictly military) means by which ISIL is able to wrest and maintain control over space and people in areas in which ISIL operates (currently Syria and Iraq) and/or has targeted. The particulars of ISIL leaders or leadership structures fit into this category. Expanding capacity Refined institutions of control Strong/ voluntary Capacity to Control Description Presence in small, disjointed and/or non- contiguous areas but no control Means of population/area control are limited to terror tactics and violent force; areas controlled are mainly ungoverned or weakly governed areas that remain accessible to armed Evolving means of population/area control include more than just threat of force, e.g., they include economic, value- based, or minor reward- based influence. ISIL led political and social institutions and processes are emerging; areas controlled are mainly ungoverned or weakly governed areas that remain accessible to armed ISIL possesses multiple means of population/area control beyond coercive measures and ISIL led political and social institutions and processes are refined and becoming standardized across its area of operation (AO), which is mainly inaccessible to armed Control gained over formerly governed areas where acquiescence/ for ISIL governance is primarily voluntary and based in common values, psychic reward, and/or perceived legitimacy of ISIL control; area control includes complete control of borders DISTRIBUTION A: Approved for public release; distribution is unlimited 18

5 Umma Support Framing Question: What accounts for for ISIL among Muslim communities and individuals outside Syria and Iraq? Definition: Umma or from the broader Muslim community refers to religious and political through to recognition of ISIL as leaders of a legitimate Sunni movement from Muslim individuals and communities outside areas under ISIL control. Intangibles that explain only active among Muslim communities and individuals outside Iraq and Syria may be out of scope. Non- Muslims attracted to ISIL as foreign fighters are included here as are recent converts to Islam. Caveats Expanding capacity Refined institutions of control Strong/ voluntary Umma Support Description Presence in small, disjointed, and/or non- contiguous areas but no control Means of population/area control are limited to terror tactics and violent force; areas controlled are mainly ungoverned or weakly governed areas that remain accessible to armed Evolving means of population/area control include more than just threat of force, e.g., they include economic, value- based, or minor reward- based influence. ISIL led political and social institutions and processes are emerging; areas controlled are mainly ungoverned or weakly governed areas that remain accessible to armed ISIL possesses multiple means of population/area control beyond coercive measures and ISIL led political and social institutions and processes are refined and becoming standardized across its AO, which is mainly inaccessible to armed Control gained over formerly governed areas where acquiescence/ for ISIL governance is primarily voluntary and based in common values, psychic reward, and/or perceived legitimacy of ISIL control; area control includes complete control of borders As mentioned above, readers should consider the framework as a heuristic a thinking tool rather than a source for answers. As such, it is reductionist in a number of ways. First, the framework focuses analytic attention on the group in order to assess at the individual, elite, Muslim community (in this case), and state/external levels of analysis. Although a reasonable approach, this may treat other factors contributing to ISIL success only as they relate to ISIL s organization or message (e.g., youth bulge; environmental factors like drought). Second, as applied in this study, there was little discussion of the differences between environmental conditions in Syria versus Iraq. In part, this may be a reflection of the relative accessibility of information about ISIL activities and sources of in Syria versus in Iraq. This may be a particular issue in generalizing insights from the civilian and elite power base sections from Iraq to Syria or, for that matter, across different areas of Iraq. DISTRIBUTION A: Approved for public release; distribution is unlimited 19

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