In this video, Washington Institute for Near East Policy Associate Fellow Ido Levy provides a virtual talk on his book, Soldiers of End-Times: Assessing the Military Effectiveness of the Islamic State. In 2014, the Islamic State shocked the world when it defeated national armies on the battlefield and seized large swaths of territory in Iraq and Syria. The group’s military success can be traced to four key variables: organizational innovation, shaping operations, will to fight, and a knack for retaining the initiative. The IS military project led not only to the declaration of a “caliphate,” but to the proliferation of jihadist franchises that devastated countries, displaced millions, and killed tens of thousands. Yet the group’s weaknesses ultimately led to the collapse of its territorial achievement. Disclaimer: The views expressed in this video are the speaker’s own and do not necessarily reflect the views of START, the University of Maryland or the United States government.