Decentralization of Powers Weakens IS

The conflict of powers in IS is over three aspects:

  • The first is the bickering between field military leaders and Sharia religious leaders.
  • The second is the conflict between Iraqi groups, Arab groups and foreign groups.
  • The third is the conflict within the groups themselves about the efficiency and the nature of the decisions.

IS' ability to impose its current influence in areas it settled in is mainly related to the risk it is exposed to both inside and outside these cities. This risk often justifies the quelling of conflicts and disputes in favor of military mobilization.

The limited scope of Baghdadi’s movement forced him to increasingly rely on primitive methods of communication and delivery of letters, such as conveying oral messages or using complex codes for the exchange of electronic and phone messages knowing that these are changed weekly. This constantly weakens IS’ ability to directly lead the organization.

This has emerged in an attempt on the part of IS to attract more people with technological skills to develop communication capabilities without IS’ network being monitored. Although IS took in skilled people to prevent breaches through communication within the organization, these efforts did not succeed; meanwhile, the international coalition succeeded in striking severe blows to the organization.

IS’ efforts in the protection of its communication network are often foiled, especially since the available information confirms that the US operations targeting the leaders of the organization were based on monitoring networks, some of which depend on the Thuraya phone, which is directly connected to a satellite.

Thus, the organization was ordered to use this type of communication for emergencies only, and to rather rely on encoded electronic messages for external communications, and a landline telephone network for internal communications.

(Decentralisation image via Shutterstock)

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