The emergence of the Islamic State of Iraq and al-Sham, or ISIS, has shaken the foundations of an already fragile Middle East. The potency of the ISIS threat has galvanized one of the largest global coalitions in warfare history. More than one year into the anti-ISIS campaign, the results have been mixed, and ISIS has demonstrated surprising resilience. How do we understand ISIS as an organization, and what are its main strengths and weaknesses?

Please join the Center for American Progress and the Tahrir Institute for Middle East Policy for a discussion with Will McCants and Hassan Hassan on the emergence and proliferation of ISIS.

Will McCants’ recently published book The ISIS Apocalypse: The History, Strategy, and Doomsday Vision of the Islamic State draws extensively on primary Arabic language sources and letters from Al Qaeda and ISIS. It is a comprehensive investigation of the group’s religious grounding, motives, strategy, and leadership. Hassan Hassan’s book ISIS: Inside the Army of Terror, written with The Daily Beast’s Michael Weiss, traces the evolution of ISIS from its origins on the battlefields of Iraq and Afghanistan through interviews with intelligence and military officials, as well as religious figures and fighters, explaining why the group will remain with us for a long time.

Opening remarks:
William Wechsler, Senior Fellow, Center for American Progress

Hassan Hassan, Nonresident Fellow, Tahrir Institute for Middle East Policy
Will McCants, Director, Project on U.S. Relations with the Islamic World; Fellow, Center for Middle East Policy, The Brookings Institution

Nancy Okail, Executive Director, Tahrir Institute for Middle East Policy