Michael Knights from the Washington Institute for Near East Policy wrote another excellent assessment of the state of the Islamic State’s insurgency in Iraq in the recent issue of the CTC Sentinel published by the Combating Terrorism Center at West Point. In the summer of 2016 the Islamic State was talking about saving its manpower and shifting towards an insurgency in the face of Iraqi offensives and U.S. Coalition air strikes. That became reality in late 2017 as the group didn’t put up a fight against the last Iraqi offensives to free the final bits of territory held by the militants. Instead, IS was withdrawing to the rural areas of central Iraq to try to rebuild again akin to what it did from 2011-14 after it was defeated by the Surge. Today, it is still active in the same six provinces it has always been, but the number of attacks is far lower. Knights asked the questions is the group simply incapable of carrying out more operations due to its losses or is it simply preserving its resources and aiming for more targeted attacks?