The Impact of ISIS Leadership and Organization Funding on Sustainable Development in Iraq and Syria
The overall economic health, growth, and development in Syria and Iraq has been curtailed to almost a point of stagnation due to the insurgency of the Islamic state in Iraq and Syria (ISIS). The unwarranted presence of the jihadist organization in Syria and Iraq gravely damaged the economy causing direct and indirect economic cost. The direct economic cost incurred include. Destruction of productive physical resources, loss of human lives, infrastructure, transport systems, and machinery as well as intensified military sending (Solomon, Chazan, & Jones, 2015). A significant portion of Iraq and Syria government spending during war neither creates wealth nor improve the living standards of the Syrian and Iraqis (Ianchovichina & Ivanic, 2016). With Syria busy fighting insurgent in the other urban regions, ISIS gained a formidable foothold in the Middle East region.
Isis leadership took advantage of the unwanted American presence in Iraq to recruit fighters and gain significant influence in the Iraq communities (Hawramy, Shalaw & Harding, 2014). Despite intensified pressure from America to degrade and destroy ISIS through infiltration of its leadership, eliminating top leadership structure of the terror group, ISIS maintained strong defiance while waging attacks against Syria and Iraq. Jihadist extremist who was mostly from the local tribes aimed to eliminate the Shiite Muslims, Yazidis, and Kurdish communities (Gunter, 2015). The group used propaganda to attract more soldiers in the war, encouraged foreign-based lone wolves attacks as well as gain international recognition (Atran & Hamid, 2015). A significant portion of their wealth originated from the illegal oil exports from oilfields under its control; at its peak, the jihadist organization controlled over 300 wells in Iraq and controlled over 60% of Syria’s production capacity (Solomon, Chazan & Jones, 2015).
Control of Syrian border crossing and the petroleum infrastructure enabled the terrorist organization to generate millions of dollars per day through the sale of the oil product in the black market. Assets seized in institutions found previously oil-rich regions such as the cash deposits in the central bank and other bank ranches in Mosul as well as across Iraq. Valuable artifacts, antiquities, and manuscripts worthy millions of dollars (Taub, 2015). Controlling large swaths of large, the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria taxed transportation agencies, traffickers and smugglers using its territory. Impact on sustainable development Sustainable development plays an important role in preventing extremism. Improvement of the livelihoods and governance in the region is a critical element necessary for suitable economic development in Syria and Iraq.
This can be achieved by addressing social-economic issues such as the creation of equal opportunities for the young people, elimination of marginalization and fragmentation in the society through inclusive strategies (Ianchovichina & Ivanic, 2016). Harnessing the energy and creativity of the young people into good use can greatly hamper terrorist activities. The al-Qaida affiliate insurgency rose following the US-led invasion of Iraq in 2003. ISIS played a crucial role in undermining the authority of the Syrian and Iraq arms of government by running a similar form of authority in the regions it controlled. ISIS terror activities significantly damaged and derailed the petroleum and agriculture sectors in Syria and Iraq. These sectors greatly contributed to the economy of the two nation; the agricultural sector was responsible for job opportunities to almost 30% of the Iraq citizens (Jaafar & Woertz, 2016).
The Islamic State in Iraq and Syria funds are mostly contributed by sympathizers in the Middle East region such as Saudi Arabia and Syria. A wide network of donors such prominent Arab businessmen, government officials in oil-rich nation such as Saudi Arabia, Qatar, and Kuwait have been instigated in the US led efforts to curtail the group’s sources of finances (Bronstein, Griffin, Besaslan & As, 2014). The countries involved in the fight against ISIS incurred huge direct and indirect economic consequences as result of the effort to curtail the militant insurgency (Warrick, 2015). Trade ties among nation in the region were greatly hindered as the ISIS-controlled vast border crossing areas in Syria and Iraq. Both nations wasted many years in the conflict with the jihadist organization.
This economical expense meant that the nation could not achieve their forecasted economic growth strategy, GDP projection since many critical sectors of the economy stalled or experienced retarded growth. The war against ISIS disrupted intraregional integration and cost the region loss of human capital and infrastructure as most professions ceased offering their services or migrated to more peaceful regions while critical infrastructural development was destroyed (Ianchovichina & Ivanic, 2016). , & Berger, J. M. ISIS: The state of terror. Harper Collins. Atran, S. Tweeting the Jihad: Social media networks of Western foreign fighters in Syria and Iraq. Studies in Conflict & Terrorism, 38(1), 1-22. Gunter, M. M. Iraq, Syria, ISIS and the Kurds: Geostrategic concerns for the US and Turkey. Financial Times, 14. Hawramy, F. , Shalaw, M. , & Harding, L.
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