... Even with the influx of thousands of foreign fighters, almost all of the leaders of the Islamic State are former Iraqi officers, including the members of its shadowy military and security committees, and the majority of its emirs and princes, according to Iraqis, Syrians and analysts who study the group.
They have brought to the organization the military expertise and some of the agendas of the former Baathists, as well as the smuggling networks developed to avoid sanctions in the 1990s and which now facilitate the Islamic State’s illicit oil trading.Let's reemphasize the point. The Islamic State is more than just a terrorist group on steroids, with a smattering of Iraqis among them. According to Hassan Hassan, author of the book "ISIS: Inside the Army of Terror," ISIS is a "homegrown Iraqi insurgency, and its organic to Iraq."
After the "de-Baathification law" - which barred 400,000 defeated Iraqi army members from government employment and denied them their pensions - the U.S. failed to recognize what a large group of people with no job, or prospects for employment, could do. The assumption, which was pushed by America's Iraqi caliphate L. Paul Bremer and President Bush, was that the defeated Baathists would simply weave their way into the new tapestry of Iraqi freedom and democracy.
They were wrong, big time.
You can read about the ISIS and their leadership network here.
Hat tip to Jack for the link.