The Lesson of the Surge

Defeating ISIS Requires a New Sunni Awakening

policy paper | June 24, 2014

    Derek Harvey Michael Pregent

As the United States considers its options against the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS), we should start by reviewing our earlier war against ISIS’s previous incarnation, Al Qaeda in Iraq (AQI), and remember what worked and what did not. The air power and special operations that many in Washington are now discussing can be an important component of a counterinsurgency or counterterrorism campaign, but our history with AQI/ISIS shows that by themselves they are not sufficient to put an end to the threat.


  • Photo of Derek Harvey

    Derek Harvey

  • Photo of Michael Pregent

    Michael Pregent