Breaking ISIS? Hit them where it count$.

Breaking ISIS? Hit them where it count$.


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The attack on Brussels was both shocking and expected as we have come to accept the long drawn out reality of a global war on terror. It  does seem like ISIS is desperate for attention. ISIS knows they are losing but they want to terrorize us into believing they are something more than the current reality- a functioning terrorist state.

ISIS’ problem is that they are not getting tax income from territory under its control because the people are leaving, especially doctors and engineers. ISIS has been blackmailing  medical professionals with their property. Claiming they will have their property confiscated if they don’t return home. Since they are very isolated from the outside world, it makes it more difficult to sell the resources they control like hydro-electric power to oil, cement and wheat. ISIS has lost control of the Syria-Turkish border to the Kurdish forces, which has been relentless in standing up to them. The anti-ISIS coalition is also targeting ISIS’ financial experts, like Abu Salah, who is “one of the most senior and experienced members of its financial network who was killed last November” according to US Col. Warren. His knowledge is very hard for the group to replace.

ISIS’ income is $80 million a month-half coming from forced taxation and the other half from stealing the oil revenues and resources of the lands they occupy. But that is not enough. A document from last year revealed a 50% wage cut for  funding basic government functions in the Islamic state due to the financial struggle ISIS is facing. They are also cutting budgets on operations. A U.S. airstrike on January 11 targeted an ISIS depot in Mosul and destroyed millions in hard cash, according to U.S. officials. This has then forced ISIS to raise tax collection efforts. ISIS’ supply line in northern Iraq for example has decreased and ISIS now spends more to transport fighters, weapons and supplies across the Jazeera desert. Moving cash is also becoming more difficult. The U.S. Treasury Department is working with 30 countries and organizations to cut bank branches in ISIS territory.

An ISIS member on patrol. What hope does he have of winning?  What is the foundation of his loyalty?  .

So what’s going to happen?
ISIS is adapting. They continue to function, with a bureaucracy that pulls tax collections. This group no larger than Belgium might not have money as a main priority. They still want and maintain an expanding hope of a functioning state. But the areas it controls have seen evidence of rising inflation, more shortages and decreasing loyalty of any ordinary citizen group that has not managed to escape the chaos.

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