Want to defeat ISIS in Iraq? More electricity would help
The Islamic State in Iraq and Syria (ISIS) is now in complete or partial control of more than a dozen Iraqi cities in Sunni-dominated areas of Iraq, which has set off an urgent debate over what the Iraqi government might do to reestablish control over its territory and whether the U.S. government should play a role in supporting such efforts.
Less than a decade ago, the United States sought to defeat an Iraqi insurgency that consisted of Al-Qaeda militants fighting alongside Iraqi Sunnis, who then also considered themselves disenfranchised with the collapse of the Sunni Baathist regime. Academic research on this period has found that the combination of military operations and the provision of social services was effective in reducing insurgent violence in affected areas by bringing local Sunnis back into the fold.