Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL)
In the past decade, the terrorist organization currently referred to as the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL) has transcended from a key force in the Iraq insurgency following a U.S. led invasion in 2003 to an institutionalized and complex organization that acts as a State and now controls swaths of territory in Iraq and Syria and unstable parts of other countries in the region.
In 2013 Fund For Peace placed Iraq at number 11 in the failed states index, followed by Syria (21), Iran (37), and finally Turkey (86). Historically, the region has been a hotbed of conflict stemming from factional differences and repressive governance. Below, we explore the history and cultural context of Iraq, the contemporary effects and situations involving the terrorist organization self-proclaimed the Islamic State, and efforts to neutralize conflict and extreme violence perpetrated by terrorists in the region.