The problem with cutting off salaries and pensions in ISIS-controlled Iraqi cities

ISIS in Iraq

For a year, the Iraqi government was stuck in a moral dilemma. People who received government funds that lived in areas controlled by the Islamic State needed those salaries and pensions to live, but they knew that the Islamic State was skimming these funds from people and using the money to expand their caliphate. They chose in July to end the flow of funds to prevent financing their own enemies.

There have been consequences. With no more money coming in from the government, the hardships caused by poverty have forced many in these cities to work for or with the Islamic State. It isn’t just desperation from poverty. It’s a feeling that they’ve been abandoned by their own government indefinitely. This is causing a spirit of woe to sweep across the lands, ceasing hope of a liberated future. In essence, they are being forced to embrace a different kind of liberation, one that is focused on the fundamental form of Islam that is ruling their lands.

By making the Islamic State the only viable option for survival for these people, Iraq is not just isolating them. Their encouraging growth. Cutting off some funds is far less practical than preventing people from joining their forces.

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