Iraqi forces advancing on Islamic State-held Mosul on Sunday. AFP
Cristoph Reuter, Spiegel Online: Dire Straits for Islamic State Finances
Islamic State is in deep financial trouble. A new study by King's College in London provides the first in-depth look at the terrorist group's revenue structure and why its business model is now failing.
Where does Islamic State (IS) actually get its money? How does the "wealthiest terror organization in the world" finance itself? Newspaper articles and statements from politicians in recent years have provided some insight, but the resulting image only partially reflected reality. Kidnappings and the smuggling of ancient artifacts have continually been mentioned as important revenue streams despite a lack of proof for either theory. Politicians have also demanded that money from foreign sources be blocked, a call that seems to come from assumptions based on al-Qaida having received money from Persian Gulf states in the past. But there isn't proof that Islamic State is using that model either.
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Commentaries, Analysis, And Editorials -- February 21, 2017
How Trump is already shifting domestic politics in Iran -- Saeid Jafari, Al-Monitor
Can Iran Hold Together Long Term? -- The American Interest
In Pakistan, tolerant Islamic voices are being silenced -- William Dalrymple, The Guardian
Time for Pakistan to walk the talk on Afghanistan -- Ashraf Jehangir Qazi, DAWN
Why Isn't Afghan Taliban on US List of Foreign Terror Groups? -- Masood Farivar, VOA
Sanction China For Its Support Of Taliban Terrorists -- Anders Corrs, Forbes
Which Asian Country Will Replace China as "World's Factory"? -- M. Lomas, Diplomat
Securing Somalia: The Challenges Awaiting Its New President -- Vanda Felbab-Brown, Foreign Affairs
How Putin built his new Russia with KGB tactics and television -- Arkady Ostrovsky, Special to National Post
Europe’s Critical Elections -- Guy Verhofstadt, Project Syndicate
How will Merkel respond to the ‘Trump doctrine’? -- Paul Wallace, Reuters
Raw deal? U.S. allies around the globe want some payback -- Jill Aitoro, Defense News
Venezuela Is a Ticking Time Bomb -- Ed Feulner & Ana Quintana, RCW
The global network has become dangerously unstable -- Niall Fergusen, Boston Globe
Why are there still famines? -- BBC