Thursday, April 12, 2007


To launch and maintain a terror campaign on the scale that has been going on in Iraq requires enormous resources. This may sound a platitude but it is surprising how few are those who really realize the full import of this fact. There is a big difference between simply acknowledging some fact and truly realizing it. On a T.V. program that I have just been watching, Mr. Mohammed Al-Askari, the consultant for the Iraqi Ministry of Defense stated that according to estimates in the ministry the average car bomb costs about US $100,000 . So if you estimate the cost of only this favorite weapon of the enemy with a rate of at least five per day, this amounts to half a million $ per day. Add to that the cost of other operations and of financing and maintaining a clandestine army of tens of thousands, paying salaries, bribes etc., feeding, housing and all kinds of logistics, maintaining and management of foreign networks and the transport and smuggling of thousands of Jihadists from places as far as Europe, not to mention Arab and Moslem countries; just compare all that effort with the cost of even the simplest family undertaking, such as organizing some trip or holiday; and the dimension of the financial aspect might dawn upon you.

The U.S. army maintains about 150,000 troops in Iraq, the numbers on the enemy side, most certainly, are not less than this figure if not much higher. If we estimate that the cost of the upkeep of the average terrorist is only one tenth of his American counterpart including the cost of weapons, operations, logistics etc., which is surely an underestimate, we conclude that the budget of the “insurgency” is consequently 10% of the American budget of the war. And we all know that this budget is almost $ 100 billions annually. It follows that the “insurgency” requires at least $ 10 billion annually. That is almost a quarter of the annual budget of the Iraqi State that has been recently announced with much fanfare as being one of the biggest in our history. This kind of financing is orders of magnitude beyond the means of any local Iraqi group. No amount of kidnap money, extortions, thefts; or even the amounts looted previously by the Baathists can provide such finance.

It follows from the previous point by elementary reasoning (my dear Watson), that there must be a powerful source of external financing for this sustained terrorist campaign that has been going on and escalating for the past four years. Iran and Syria, you might say. Well perhaps, to some extent, but considering the finances of these particular two, the full burden is well beyond their capabilities. Who else can do it? It is not difficult to discover that, if you really look around in the neighborhood. If we, poor ordinary people can easily answer this question, it is difficult to imagine that the financial wizards of the greatest World economic power can fail to solve this “mystery”. It should be clear even to an idiot that without the financial backing the insurgency cannot possibly continue and thrive, at least not on the present scale. But how little do we hear about this aspect of the “War on Terror”?! It makes you really wonder. Perhaps the matter is deeper than we think, and is way beyond our poor ordinary-man comprehension.

I shall not elaborate any further and leave it to the imagination and wits of my friends to ponder upon this issue; an issue which is at the very core of the problem.

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