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Islamic State in Iraq Causes for Success and Challenges Facing the Region

In June 2014, the militant group Islamic state of Iraq (IS) announced the establishment of an Islamic caliphate stretching from northern Syria to northern Iraq. The announcement came shortly after IS had started its military offensive in Iraq, in which the militant group conquered one-third of the Iraqi territory and gained control of strategic cities and resources within only two weeks. The international community under US leadership reacted to the threat quickly and proposed a joint strategy to defeat IS. The presentation aims to answer the following questions: What makes IS so effective? What impact has the swift expansion of IS in Iraq had on other states of the region, and will the international community be able to counter IS successfully?

Presented by: Nicole Stracke, Director of Research and Analysis, EXOP GmbH, Germany

Nicole Stracke has been the Director of the Centre for Research & Analysis with EXOP GmbH since September 2011, a leading German risk consultancy company focusing on risk mitigation and management in high-risk countries. Prior to her current position, Ms Stracke lived in the Middle East and North Africa for several years and worked as an analyst and consultant for a Saudi research institution, focusing on security issues and regional security architecture. Ms Stracke has visited over 15 Arab countries, among them Yemen, Libya, Syria, Sudan, Iraq, Iran and Algeria.