Research report

20 Sep 2017

Australian military operations in Iraq commenced in August 2014 as part of the International Global Coalition to counter the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria (ISIS). A year later, on 9 September 2015, Prime Minister Tony Abbott announced Australia would expand its military commitment from...


11 Jul 2017

This report outlines the horrifying scale of death, injury and suffering of civilians trapped in the battle for west Mosul. The report documents how the group calling itself the Islamic State (IS) moved civilians from neighbouring villages into the zones of the battle in west...

Audio interview

22 Jun 2017

The destruction of Mosul's Al Nuri mosque is another reminder that Islamic State's main victims have been Muslims, according to Andrew Zammit, a terrorism researcher who's written papers for the Lowy Institute and the Institute for Regional Security. He says it shows ISIS has been...

Discussion paper

8 May 2017


With combat operations underway in west Mosul, Iraqi security forces will later this year regain control of the city. But what comes next will be crucial, affecting the utility of the costly international intervention against ISIS, the chances of stability in Iraq...

Research report

17 Feb 2017

This report is based on a systematic review of open source information about the finances of Islamic State in its core territory in Syria and Iraq.

Key findings

Estimates vary widely. It remains impossible to say exactly how much money Islamic State...

Research report

22 Sep 2016


Turkey, Syria and Iraq depend on the Tigris-Euphrates river system for their food and water security. Both rivers have contributed to interstate tension and hostility, and the region is yet to agree on a water-sharing mechanism that could lead to more amicable...



31 Dec 2015

Australia has an addiction to going to war with its US alliance partner, ‘our great and powerful friend’, whatever the strategic and human consequences. Australia’s armed forces have been at war in operations in Afghanistan, Iraq, Syria—and now unannounced at sea in the Yemeni civil...

Research report

17 Nov 2015

This is the third edition of the Global Terrorism Index, which provides a comprehensive summary of the key global trends and patterns in terrorism over the last 15 years with a special emphasis on 2014.

This report provides a detailed analysis of the changing...

Journal article

10 Sep 2015

This article examines Iraqi political developments in the last few years. It argues that unless a constitutional mechanism for proper dispersal of political powers across Iraq's regions and branches of its government is developed quickly, it may become too late for defeating Islamic State in...

Research report

28 May 2015

This report explores the phenomenon of Western females travelling to Syria and Iraq in support of ISIS.


Although often assumed to be passive agents, women have played significant roles in a number of contemporary terrorist organizations. Violent extremist groups across the...

Research report

18 May 2015

Foreign policy is typically a blandly bipartisan affair in liberal democracies like Australia and the United States. Although different slogans are employed by left and right, major political parties support broadly liberal foreign policy goals. Both sides of politics want to preserve peace and national...


23 Apr 2015

“I am an anthropologist. Anthropologists, as a group, study the diversity of human cultures to understand our commonalities and differences, and to use the knowledge of what is common to us all to help us bridge our differences. My research aims to help reduce violence...

Discussion paper

16 Apr 2015

In this analysis, Andrew Zammit argues that Australians fighting in Iraq and Syria pose a threat to Australia’s security and examines the options for responding to that threat, including through non-coercive means.

Key Findings

Australian foreign fighters in Syria and Iraq pose...

Journal article

15 Mar 2015

If unchecked, the Islamic State poses a security threat not only to Iraq and the Middle East countries but also to the West because of its ability to recruit hundreds of foreign jihadists who may pose threats on their return. Media narratives suggest that the...

Video lecture/presentation

1 Feb 2015

The rise of the so-called Islamic State (IS) in vast swathes of territories in Syria and Iraq, and the US-led military response to it, have introduced another complex dimension to an oil-rich but already very volatile Middle East. The old correlation of forces in support...

Research report

17 Dec 2014

Overview: This report is the first publication from a continuing, open-source study of the coalition campaign against the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL). With Australian blood and treasure committed to the efforts of the coalition, it is important for ASPI to...

Journal article

9 Dec 2014

Twitter streams from the insurgencies in Syria and Iraq may give the illusion of authenticity, but to what extent is access and content controlled?


Social media have played an essential role in the jihadists’ operational strategy in Syria and Iraq, and...

Research report

26 Jun 2014

Summary: Despite the early June military successes by the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL), the group will neither pose a fatal threat to the Iraqi Government nor cause the collapse of the Iraqi state. The security breakdown in Iraq and Baghdad’s...


20 Jun 2014

The UN refugee agency annual statistics show that more than 51 million people were forcibly displaced at the end of 2013, the largest number since the end of World War II. Half of the world's refugees in 2013 were children.

UNHCR's annual Global Trends...

Conference paper

18 Mar 2011

The war against Al Qaeda and its allies may well become the defining conflict of our age. Certainly it is cited as evidence of a transformation of war that is sweeping away older modes of warfare. This paper seeks to explain the reasons for the...