May 26th, 2015
The Growth of ISIS
ISIS (or the Islamic State of Iraq and al-Sham) is a dreaded organization of terrorists that are threatening the US. By now, almost everyone has heard of ISIS, due to coverage in the news and their brute beheadings. Many politicians have made it their focus to stopping them and actions have been taken by using drone strikes. They have gained many followers within the last few years and have been considered the biggest terrorist organization in the world. The US government is having trouble stopping ISIS primarily because of their strong impact on the mid eastern economics and their strength in numbers.
ISIS is located in Syria and Iraq and has done significant damage to the citizens of both countries. The primary focus of ISIS is to spread their Islamic extremism to the government of Syria and Iraq. Their goal is to rule a government under the strict laws their extremist Islamic beliefs. The war in Syria has propelled their movement and strength in numbers
That is specifically why ISIS is so dangerous. ISIS reaches out to the public and offer spots for their “noble” and “holy” army. On top of their dangerous numbers, they have a solid financial plan to keep their organization on track. ISIS obtains revenue by collecting taxes from the public in Iraq, stealing money from banks, selling oil and kidnapping ransoms. However the most significant is collecting taxes. ISIS doesn’t invest too much in oil and more in the public, so drone strikes on oil refineries might impede their growth, but will not topple them over. The only way to stop the terrorist organization is to stop the army head-on, but Syria is in no condition to do so.
ISIS has taken over a significant power plant Baiji located in Syria and the government can do nothing to stop it. Syria has decided that it is more cost effective to live with the fact that ISIS has taken over a power plant, and due to extreme demand in energy, Syria has decided to buy energy from the organization that seeks to destroy their government. Since there is also little competition for energy near Syria, ISIS can lift the prices as high as they want, and soon they could have a monopoly. If ISIS manages to expand their reach on oil refineries, we could see a change in gas prices on American soil. As it is right now, ISIS has “The Baiji refinery, the largest refinery in Iraq, [which] has a capacity of processing up to 310,000 barrels of oil per day.” Since ISIS is only providing energy to Syria right now, the US economy shouldn’t be affected.
ISIS seems like it is far away, overseas, however it is closer than we think. ISIS members have risen in the US and all over the world, ISIS is growing and will not likely stop growing unless action is taken in the Middle East. Whether US troops are sent, drone strikes are launched, or the UN takes action. All are viable options, and if we do not want ISIS to grow, then action needs to take place.
Almukhtar, Sarah. "ISIS Finances Are Strong." The New York Times. The New York Times, 18 May 2015. Web. 26 May 2015. <http://www.nytimes.com/interactive/2015/05/19/world/middleeast/isis-finances.html>.
Cairo, S. B. "What ISIS, an Al-Qaeda Affiliate in Syria, Really Wants." The Economist. The Economist Newspaper, 20 Jan. 2014. Web. 26 May 2015. <http://www.economist.com/blogs/economist-explains/2014/01/economist-explains-12>.
Fisher, Max. "How ISIS Is Exploiting the Economics of Syria's Civil War."Vox. Vox, 12 June 2014. Web. 26 May 2015. <http://www.vox.com/2014/6/12/5802824/how-isis-is-exploiting-the-economics-of-syrias-civil-war>.Sharma, Riddhima. "ISIS & the Economics of Terrorism." Model Governance. Model Governance, 5 July 2014. Web. 26 May 2015. <http://modelgovernance.com/the-economics-of-terrorism/>.