Iraqi Guerrillas are now Financially Self-Sufficient
Only last week did John Robb at Global Guerrillas noted that:
Iraq’s non-state guerrillas aren’t mere proxies of Iran. Instead, they are largely autonomous.
First, these groups don’t rely upon Iran for their operating income since they can manufacture income through participation in black globalization’s multi-trillion dollar economy. A classic example of this is the decentralized and open source marketplace for the transnational smuggling of gasoline.
Today, New Yorks Times reports on a leaked NSC document with a view that supports Robb’s position:
The report, obtained by The New York Times, estimates that groups responsible for many of the insurgent and terrorist attacks are raising $70 million to $200 million a year from illegal activities. It says that $25 million to $100 million of the total comes from oil smuggling and other criminal activity involving the state-owned oil industry aided by “corrupt and complicit” Iraqi officials.
As much as $36 million a year comes from ransoms paid to save hundreds of kidnap victims in Iraq, the report said. It estimates that unnamed foreign governments — previously identified by senior American officials as including France and Italy — paid Iraqi kidnappers $30 million in ransom last year.
Open Source Bazaar and the Sustainable Ecology
Going back to John Robb, one of his themes is the idea of the “Open Source Bazaar“:
The Financiers listed above are Government Insiders, Senior Baathist, Al-Qaida, Tribal Groups and Nation-States – all of them, mostly outsiders or periphary to the Insurgent and Sectarian groups.
This has changed. While outside forces initially strengthened the position and inertia of these groups, we are now seeing a Sustainable Ecology of Iraqi Global Guerrillas
These groups are now trafficking oil and collecting money via kidnappings to sustain and regenerate their operations:
[Jeffery White] said the insurgency had demonstrated tremendous regenerative properties. “The networks fix themselves, they heal themselves,” he said. He pointed to the success of Al Qaeda in Mesopotamia to withstand the loss of hundreds of combatants and dozens of major leaders. “They keep coming back,” he said, “and I think the same thing has happened to the financial system.”
The insurgents now have network and regenerative properties in recruiting personnel, leadership structure and in financing. This combined with the easily accessible explosive and weapons in the Middle East is proving very challenging against accomplishing US Objectives in Iraq.