Why ISIS Has All the Money It Needs
These airstrikes were launched not because U.S. officials were prescient. They came after the Obama administration found and quietly fixed a colossal miscalculation. U.S. intelligence had grossly overestimated the damage they’d inflicted during airstrikes on the militants’ oil production apparatus last year, while underestimating Islamic State’s oil revenue by $400 million. According to U.S. Department of the Treasury officials and data they released in the wake of the Paris mayhem, the terrorist group is actually taking in $500 million from oil a year. What’s more, just a few hours before the first Islamic State suicide bomber blew himself up outside the Stade de France on Nov. 13, U.S. Army Colonel Steve Warren conceded at a press briefing that some American airstrikes disrupted IS oil operations for no more than a day or two.