The Future of ISIS and US Counterterrorism: A Study of ISIS, Boko Haram, Al-Shabaab, and the US Policy Response

Phillips, Luke (2017) The Future of ISIS and US Counterterrorism: A Study of ISIS, Boko Haram, Al-Shabaab, and the US Policy Response. Undergraduate thesis, under the direction of Weixing Chen from Public Policy Leadership, University of Mississippi.

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This study is comprised of two parts. Part 1 focuses on ISIS, Boko Haram, and Al-Shabaab, examining the structures, tactics, and motivations of the groups. Each group seeks territory in its respective region. After losing territories, Boko Haram and Al-Shabaab both turned to guerilla attacks and suicide bombing, destabilizing the areas formerly under their control. Having lost much territory, ISIS is already showing signs of behaving more like an insurgency and employing tactics similar to Boko Haram and Al-Shabaab by resorting to attacks on soft targets as it continues to be deprived of territory. Part 2 focuses on the US policy response to ISIS, Boko Haram, and Al-Shabaab. After describing the Obama Administration’s objectives, polices, and results against these groups, this study concludes that while President Obama’s objectives were met fairly well and the groups were weakened in territorial capacity, the groups continue to thrive in certain capacities and the administration failed to deter the groups’ escalating soft target attacks. In detailing and speculating upon the Trump Administration’s policies towards ISIS, Boko Haram, and Al-Shabaab, this study predicts the Trump Administration’s potential departures from the previous administration and highlights the opportunities and challenges confronting President Trump in countering the groups. This study finds that the Trump Administration will likely increase US troop levels in the fights against ISIS, Boko Haram, and Al-Shabaab, and that sustaining gains against the groups will necessitate a long-term US role of security and surveillance in areas vulnerable to the groups’ attacks.

Item Type: Thesis (Undergraduate)
Creators: Phillips, Luke
Student's Degree Program(s): B.A. in Public Policy Leadership
Thesis Advisor: Weixing Chen
Thesis Advisor's Department: Public Policy Leadership
Institution: University of Mississippi
Subjects: H Social Sciences > H Social Sciences (General)
J Political Science > JA Political science (General)
J Political Science > JF Political institutions (General)
J Political Science > JK Political institutions (United States)
J Political Science > JZ International relations
U Military Science > U Military Science (General)
Depositing User: Luke Phillips
Date Deposited: 11 May 2017 16:26
Last Modified: 11 May 2017 16:26

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