Jacob Greene


This project provides a comprehensive examination of the strategic, operational and organizational character of the Islamic State in Iraq and the Sham (ISIS). The purpose of the project is two fold: first, to challenge the perception that ISIS and al-Qā’ida are fundamentally “one and the same;” and, second, to offer policy makers a systematic and detailed description of ISIS on its own merits. Drawing on variables pertaining to three dimensions—strategy, operations, and organizational characteristics—and informed by both primary sources and secondary analyses, I investigate the qualitative differences between the two organizations. I find that, despite some similarities, ISIS and al-Qā’ida vary considerably in all facets. Accordingly, I offer targeted policy recommendations aimed at making current counter-strategy more effective and efficient.


Public Policy & Administration Department

Degree Name

MA in Global Affairs

Graduation Date


Submission Date

January 2015

First Advisor

Hodgkins, Allison

Committee Member 1

Awad, Ibrahim

Committee Member 2

Pinfari, Marco


95 p.

Document Type

Master's Thesis

Library of Congress Subject Heading 1

IS (Organization)

Library of Congress Subject Heading 2

Qaida (Organization)


The author retains all rights with regard to copyright. The author certifies that written permission from the owner(s) of third-party copyrighted matter included in the thesis, dissertation, paper, or record of study has been obtained. The author further certifies that IRB approval has been obtained for this thesis, or that IRB approval is not necessary for this thesis. Insofar as this thesis, dissertation, paper, or record of study is an educational record as defined in the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA) (20 USC 1232g), the author has granted consent to disclosure of it to anyone who requests a copy.

Institutional Review Board (IRB) Approval

Not necessary for this item