A Predictable Failure: The Political Economy of the Decline of the Islamic State
The Islamic State’s failure as a state was predictable as soon as the group’s initial advances stalled. The group tried to fight a three-front war for territory—Kurds to the North, the Assad regime to the West, and Iraq to the East—without the necessary resources to do so. Early revenue estimates revealed that either its revenue-generation system was inefficient, its economy had collapsed, or both, and that conditions had steadily worsened over time. The area it controlled in late 2014 was only modestly productive before the war and its governing institutions were inimical to economic growth. These factors guaranteed a slow collapse.
Shapiro, J. A Predictable Failure: The Political Economy of the Decline of the Islamic State. CTC Sentinel, 9-9, 2016.