The effort to degrade and defeat the Islamic State is like many other multilateral military efforts – characterized by widely varying contributions to the effort. This article seeks to understand the patterns of contributions. Three sets of explanations are applied: the lessons of Afghanistan and Libya, variations in how potential contributors feel the threat posed by the Islamic State, and domestic political dynamics. While there may be some political processes that overlap with the big lessons and with the threat of the Islamic State, the patterns of contributions thus far suggest that the key drivers of reactions to the Islamic State are the desire not to repeat Afghanistan combined with some impetus provided by Islamic State attacks in the various homelands. The conclusion suggests some policy implications as well as some ideas for future research.

Additional Metadata
Persistent URL dx.doi.org/10.1080/13523260.2016.1183414
Journal Contemporary Security Policy
Citation
Saideman, S.M. (2016). The ambivalent coalition: doing the least one can do against the Islamic state. Contemporary Security Policy, 37(2), 289–305. doi:10.1080/13523260.2016.1183414