The Islamic State has lost substantial control of territory and people since 2014 in Iraq, Syria, Afghanistan, Libya and Nigeria—and is on a path to collapse as a self-proclaimed state, according to data compiled in a new RAND report.
The Islamic State is a byproduct of the 2003 American intervention in Iraq and the subsequent American departure in 2011. At its peak in late 2014, the group held more than 100,000 square kilometers of territory with a population of nearly 12 million, mostly in Iraq and Syria. Beginning in 2015, the Islamic State began to lose territory as it faced increasingly effective resistance. Still, the Islamic State continues to conduct and inspire attacks around the world.
While the Islamic State Has Lost Territory and Support, It Continues to Pose a Terrorist Threat to the United States and Its Allies:
- The Islamic State has lost considerable territory since 2014 in Iraq, Syria, Afghanistan, Egypt, Libya, and Nigeria.
- Polling data indicate declining support across the Muslim world for the Islamic State and its ideology.
- The Islamic State continues to conduct and inspire attacks around the globe.
- The group’s global footprint includes eight formal provinces outside Iraq and Syria; over a dozen informal provinces; and tens of thousands of inspired individuals across Asia, the Middle East, Africa, Europe, and North America.