As far as I can see, the self-declared “Islamic State” Caliphate is formed of two major components:-
- A whole load of weaponed-up fundamentalists (many of whom are just kids); but who are obviously being funded by…
- Some seriously well-connected chancers who are siphoning off extraordinary amounts of oil from Syrian oilfields and selling them to third-party chancers with passing oil tankers.
Why does the world not treat Syrian oil as a conflict mineral, and find a way of putting some tracer element into the source oil that can be easily detected downstream, but would survive the oil refining process?
Never mind having “a tiger in your tank”, lots of people around the world now have a Caliphate in their tank.
Do you think it’s nice having diesel under a pound a litre? No, not if it’s conflict diesel, it certainly isn’t.
All the while people focus on tackling the fundamentalists, they’re missing the whole funding issue.
In short, “Islamic State” is nothing more complex than a high-growth startup with a novel funding model. But we need to make their access to funding more difficult.