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News | Oct. 1, 2014

A Time to Tweet, as Well as a Time to Kill: ISIS’s Projection of Power in Iraq and Syria

By Heather Marie Vitale and James M. Keagle Defense Horizons 77




Key Points



  • The Islamic State of Iraq and alSham (ISIS) uses a combination of intimidation, military might, and digital propaganda to project power militarily, economically, politically, and informationally. 
  • ISIS runs a sophisticated and multidimensional social media campaign, exploiting it as a weapon of war to intimidate, spread official messages, recruit, fundraise, network, and justify its gruesome acts. 
  • ISIS has been emboldened by the borderless nature of the region and the clash of religious and secular sub-identities in Iraq. 
  • The United States needs to develop a comprehensive digital strategy that is slicker, faster, and more nimble than ISIS’s to fight the insurgency.