An understanding of the nuances of the predictable [frictions] like morale, geography, perception, protection, protraction, depopulation, and legality is likely to be helpful. These frictions are slippery slopes, which can halt the juggernaut of ground forces in its tracks.
Daesh is now meeting what Clausewitz refers to as friction in war, i.e., those factors that sap the war machine of its vitality. In its drive to establish an Islamic Caliphate, Daesh reached out far and wide to project its influence, overextending its capabilities in the process. The developing stalemate across its fronts could indicate an operational pause to consolidate, or it could simply mean that it is reaching the “diminishing point of the attack.” For an organization that sells itself as a dynamic, maneuver-oriented offensive force, Daesh cannot afford to get locked into a defensive war of attrition.