The insurgency has funds, lots of funds

One20hundred20dollar20bill "The report, obtained by The New York Times, estimates that groups responsible for many insurgent and terrorist attacks are raising $70 million to $200 million a year from illegal activities. It says $25 million to $100 million of that comes from oil smuggling and other criminal activity involving the state-owned oil industry, aided by “corrupt and complicit” Iraqi officials."  Semple in NY Times


The NY Times quotes me here as saying that the NSC paper is "guessing."  What I meant and they did not make this clear, is that the authors of the NSC paper are "guessing" about the number.  While there is no doubt that the Sunni insurgent groups are "fully funded," the range of funding that they accept (70 to 200 million) means to me that the authors of the NSC paper have no real idea how large that number really is.

Pat Lang

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6 Responses to The insurgency has funds, lots of funds

  1. Grumpy says:

    Col., this may sound like a simple question, but that would not be true. When do we start to honestly start tracking the money? Policy makers must stay completely out of this search, even the perception of involvement will cause contamination of this process. Let the facts be your guide. This will be no easy process. When completed, then and only then, you produce and print your N.I.E.. Again, then and only then, do our policy makers see, comment or own the results of this search. The policy makers do not have the right to change it. The N.I.E. maintains its own integrity. Respectfully, “Grumpy”

  2. different clue says:

    Someone I know once worked at one of the 12 Federal Reserve Center Banks. I once got invited to go with this person to a
    social get-together of mid-
    level FedReserve analysts and stuff. I was talking with one of the analysts who
    was involved in tracking money flows by category and
    amount, from where to where,
    etc. I asked if The Fed had
    a separate category, by name, for international illegal drug-money flows.
    He said no. I said, jo-king-ly, “Probably because
    the amount is so vast as to
    be too embarrassing to even
    admit to, name, and show on
    graphs, tables, and charts.”
    And he said, no joke at all,
    “Yes, actually that is the
    Politically embarassing?
    Socially embarrasing? Embarrassing to the so-called ” field of economics”? I don’t know and I didn’t pursue it. But
    it is going to be very hard
    to get any unit of government to even study
    socially or politically embarrassing money flows.
    After all, they can’t name
    what they haven’t even studied.
    So first, we would have to
    extract information about
    who decided why certain money flows will not even be
    named and tracked, let alone
    analyzed? And who was that
    decider covering up for, personally or institutionally or social-class wise?

  3. johnf says:

    Moises Naim’s book “Illicit: How Smugglers, Traffickers and Copycats are Hijacking the Global Economy” covers in detail the confluence of smugglers and terrorists and money launderers in the new frontierless landscape of the deregulated global economy.
    There is nothing new about this – there were great efforts to close down these unofficial financial channels after 9/11 – until, of course, it was realized that the super rich use exactly the same channels and tax havens to smuggle their great wealth and avoid the tax man.
    I believe that the Chechen rebels largely finance their war through the hijacking and smuggling of oil.

  4. FDR_Democrat says:

    On a related topic, an article today notes the 65th anniversary of the creation of the AK-47 and talks about its impact on Post-WW2 politics and warfare.

  5. Trent says:

    John Robb’s latest post covers this as well.

  6. Kevin says:

    “On a related topic, an article today notes the 65th anniversary of the creation of the AK-47 and talks about its impact on Post-WW2 politics and warfare.”
    I picked one up at the gun show on Veterans Day. A Romanian GP WASR-10 for only $315- CHEAP! Based on the size of the mag well(fits high capacity mags), it was manufactured after the assault weapon ban expired; however, the muzzle nut was tack welded,- nothing a hack saw cant fix 😉 (yes, it is legal in my state- god bless the GOP!)

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