ISIS as a State

Whether ISIS fully satisfies the traditional definition of statehood is debatable (control of borders is key, and ISIS’ keep changing), but we know more than we used to about how their governance actually works. This includes the development of “colonies”, including one in Libya that could be used as a safe haven if necessary, and would be very hard to eradicate, as well as taxing the populations under their control. It also includes some amount of trade outside their territory, mainly for ammunition and oil, both of which are key to its continued survival.

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