The Economics Of ISIS Governance

October 14, 2015 in Daily Bulletin

Deir ez-Zor is a province in eastern Syria that has been controlled by the group formerly known as ISIS since 2014. Recently public accounts figures leaked and Zack Beauchamp took a look at what they showed:

  • Surprisingly only a third of ISIS’s revenue comes from oil sales.
  • Most of the rest comes from “taxes” and “confiscations” – essentially what is likely extortion by the state government.
  • On the one hand this is good news – there is only so much the government can confiscate before there’s nothing left.
  • On the other hand it means that bombing campaigns won’t do much good in degrading ISIS’ finances. You can at least destroy oil production facilities.
  • Most of ISIS expenditure is on soldier salaries, policing, and military bases.
  • There is very little spent on economic development.
  • However the group does devote 18% of its budget to what is called a “social services department”.

Read more, and see some fascinating visualizations over here.

Source: Vox

Via: Marginal Revolution