Abstract for: Dynamics of ISIS - An Emerging State Actor

This paper seeks to explain the rapid growth of the Islamic State of Iraq & Syria (ISIS) and approach the question of “what is” the Islamic State? The paper offers a contribution by proposing an emerging-state actor theory in a CLD and dynamic hypothesis that ISIS is such an actor. The second contribution is a detailed operational simulation model. Propositions of emerging-state actor theory are constructed as experiments and tested to build validity in the model and confidence in the theory. The model is provided in full detail in two Appendices. Appendix A provides a sector-by-sector view of model structure and equations. Appendix B provides more discussion, analysis and sources used to develop model structure, establish parameter values and determine equations for the simulation. Due to length and other considerations, Appendix B is available only upon request. The model can be configured for other non-state actor scenarios (classical insurgencies etc.) and loaded with scenarios to simulate non-state actors in different regions. Keywords: ISIS, ISIL, DAESH, insurgency, conflict, security, non-state actor, emerging-state actor, combat simulator, geospatial, national security. Acknowledgements: The author would like to acknowledge Professor Khalid Saeed and Jessica Turnley for their contributions to this work.