Tuesday, November 20, 2007

Washington Post, Two Years Later ...

Amit Paley reports in the Washington Post that Iraqis are increasingly motivated by cash rather than ideology when joining the insurgency. He writes, "U.S. military commanders say that insurgents across the country are increasingly motivated more by money than ideology and that a growing number of insurgent cells, struggling to pay recruits, are turning to gangster-style racketeering operations."

Two years ago, Robert E. Looney, a professor of national security affairs at the U.S. Naval Postgraduate School, wrote in The National Interest: "Yet, particularly worrisome is the convergence of large segments of the Iraqi insurgency with elements of organized crime. Unfortunately, improved anti-terrorism effectiveness has resulted in increased criminal activity by several significant groups within the insurgency.

"So while the political and military aspects of the insurgency have received most of the world's attention, the insurgency's subtle shift toward increased reliance on criminal activity has implications that are just as important for the Iraqi economy. Increased criminal activity is effectively stifling attempts to expand the formal sector."

His piece, the "Business of Insurgency" provided a great deal of detail on these processes.

Glad that either the U.S. military or the Post is getting on to the story, even if it is two years later.

Thanks for pointing this piece out. I may have to go back into the electronic archives and read it. Having said that, I have a feeling that the commanders on the ground understood this a while ago. Pretty sure I've seen similar quotes before.
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