Thomas Hegghammer

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Foreign Policy Essay

The Foreign Policy Essay: Calculated Caliphate

Editor’s Note: The conquest of Mosul and other cities in Iraq by the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria (ISIS) has alarmed the United States and its allies and electrified the Sunni jihadist community. On Monday, ISIS went one step further, changing its name to the “Islamic State” and declaring a caliphate with its leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi as the caliph. The implications of this decision, and the strategy behind it, remain uncertain.