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Cultural Assessment of the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL)

What follows is an assessment of the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL) from a socio-cultural

perspective. We have employed a modified PMESII-PT framework for analysis (Political, Military, Economic,

Social, Infrastructure, Information, Physical Terrain, Time). We have modified PMESII-PT in three ways

to emphasize the socio-cultural aspect of this analysis. First, we have expanded the concept of Military to

cover all coercive forces in the area of interest. The expanded category includes law enforcement, pro and

anti-government paramilitaries, militias, external forces, etc. Second, we added Population and Culture as

separate categories. Arguably, these categories could be covered in PMESII-PT under Society, but we saw them

as sufficiently important to merit separate chapters. Third, we have expanded the concept of Information,

which we have titled Communications, to account for both how information is communicated and how it is

received within the society under analysis. With that as background, here is a synopsis of our major findings

by category in our modified PMESII-PT framework.