How ISIS Makes $100 Million Every Month from Oil

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In Heritage Work

ISIS’s control of oil fields in Iraq and Syria is making it difficult for those countries to work with the United States to “degrade and ultimately destroy”  ISIS. Not only does their grip on oil production affect U.S. strategy, the brutal terrorist organization uses that oil wealth to help finance its terror operations.

And the profit margin isn’t small. The Daily Signal’s Kelsey Harkness writes:

According to the Iraq Energy Institute, an independent, nonprofit policy organization focused on Iraq’s energy sector, the army of radical Islamists controls production of 30,000 barrels of oil a day in Iraq and 50,000 barrels in Syria.

By selling the oil on the black market at a discounted price of $40 per barrel (compared to about $93 per barrel in the free market), ISIS takes in $3.2 million a day.

This amounts to nearly $100 million each month allowing ISIS to, as Heritage expert James Phillips explains, have a “solid economic base that sustains its continued expansion.” In order to succeed in destroying ISIS, the U.S. and its allies need to work “intently on cutting the oil revenues that make up a large portion of that funding,” Phillips concludes.

Do you think the President Obama’s top priority in stopping ISIS should be to cut its cash flow from the oil production?

President Obama’s Response to the ISIS Crisis Is Critical

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In Heritage Work

Later today President Obama will give a highly-anticipated speech on how he plans to handle the threat posed by the Islamic State, also known as ISIS. This speech should give insight into what the “Obama Doctrine” really is.

The Heritage Foundation would hope for three clear policies to be outlined in this speech. First, that President Obama will take steps to protect the United States from any domestic threats originating from the Islamic State. Second, that he is firm about the goal of driving ISIS out of Iraq. And last, that he will seek authorization for any military action that will occur.

Given the President’s admission last week that he had no strategy yet for combatting ISIS, it is imperative that some sort of congressional oversight is in place.

Heritage expert Elizabeth Slattery recently wrote:

Now is not the time for Congress and the president to engage in a turf war over who is in charge when it comes to dealing with the threats posed by ISIS. The administration must develop a comprehensive strategy to defeat ISIS, communicate that strategy to the American people and Congress, and then work with Congress to accomplish that task.

In 2007 then-Senator Obama said, “It is always preferable to have the informed consent of Congress prior to any military action.” However, in March 2011, President Obama did not seek any congressional authorization for military action in Libya.  If this is a precedent, it is reasonable to suspect that the President will not seek authorization for his military actions against ISIS. This would be a mistake.

Tell us what you think in the comments: How should President Obama handle the ISIS threat?

An Exclusive First Look at a Heritage Expert’s Newest Book

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In Heritage Work

Heritage Foundation expert Mike Gonzalez’s newest book, “A Race for the Future: How Conservatives Can Break the Liberal Monopoly on Hispanic Americans,” hits bookstores today.

Here’s the Daily Signal’s exclusive first look at his book, including an excerpt.

The early reviews are positive. Here’s what William McGurn has to say in the New York Post:

Now he has put his thoughts together in an extraordinary book called “A Race for the Future,” which goes on sale Tuesday. It’s Paul Ryan’s economics and Charles Murray’s sociology applied to the Hispanic experience.

His argument? That the American future conservatives hope for will largely depend on the future of Hispanic America.

Gonzalez comes out swinging. The whole concept of “Hispanic,” he points out, didn’t even exist before the 1970s.

It is an artificial identity, created by the federal government to paper over the huge differences among Cubans, Puerto Ricans, Salvadorans, Mexicans, Guatemalans and lump them into one category.

Be sure to order your copy today!

 

 

How Overcriminal‌ization Threatens Liberty

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In Heritage Work

There’s a looming problem in America’s federal criminal justice system that “gravely threatens the liberty of ordinary citizens. It’s called overcriminalization.

The problem, law professor Stephen Smith writes in a new Heritage report, “is not simply that too many criminal laws are on the books, but that they are poorly defined in ways that give unwarranted sweep to the criminal law, raising the danger of punishment absent or in excess of moral blameworthiness.”

Congress has created, on average, 56 new federal crimes each year since 2000. This has contributed injustices “that federal prosecutors have committed against people who had no reason to know their actions were wrongful, much less illegal.”

While awareness of this problem is growing, legislation to properly deal with the problem has yet to be written. Smith explains an alternative solution: Continue Reading »

We Need Less Government in the Housing Market, Not More

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In Heritage Work

The federal government should be less involved in the housing market moving forward, Heritage Foundation experts Norbert Michel and John Ligon argue in a new report on housing finance and free enterprise.  The authors go on to explain,

Free markets promote affordable housing, but the federal government has increasingly intervened in housing finance for decades. Housing finance reform will be successful only if policymakers recognize the flaws of previous interventionist policies and embrace the basic principles inherent in a free market.

They argue for a housing policy “that promotes individual economic freedom and affordable homeownership,” and lay out five policies to achieve that goal: Continue Reading »

No Easy Fixes in Iraq, But Action Is Necessary Nonetheless

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In Heritage Work

Iraq is a mess. Caught between sectarian friction and open conflict with ISIS, Iraq is in need of serious support. But how can the U.S. help? And how much of a threat is ISIS? What will be Iraq’s future?

At a recent Heritage Foundation event, these questions were specifically addressed. The event, moderated by Heritage fellow Peter Brookes, brought together some of the top experts on military affairs and the Middle East, including Heritage’s Steve Bucci, Stephen J. Hadley, and Mary Habeck. Continue Reading »

Ferguson, MO and Our Overmilitarized Police Force

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In Heritage Work

Preserving law and order is an essential role of government. The ongoing demonstrations and subsequent police crackdowns in Ferguson, Missouri have sparked a debate about whether military-style police tactics are the right approach.

Although introduced into police departments to deal with exceptional circumstances,” Heritage Foundation legal fellow Evan Bernick reports, “the use of military hardware and tactics soon expanded.”

He continues: “While enforcing laws and stopping violent criminals are essential, routine use of military hardware and tactics in nonviolent situations has inflicted substantial unnecessary damage on persons and property.”

We need to take steps to scale back the use of military hardware and tactics in contexts where they are plainly inappropriate while ensuring that law enforcement can still respond with overwhelming force when necessary.”

Do you think police should routinely use military hardware and tactics?

President Obama’s Administrative Amnesty Is ‘Unjust and Costly’ and Won’t Solve the Problem

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In Heritage Work

Heritage’s Derrick Morgan and David Inserra report on President Obama’s latest unilateral amnesty gambit:

President Barack Obama is considering using prosecutorial discretion to effectively legalize millions of illegal immigrants. Doing so would be unjust and costly and would encourage more illegal immigration. Congress should discourage the Administration from considering this divisive and unproductive step, which would only make it more difficult to implement suitable, feasible, and just immigration reforms and more robust and effective border security.

Read their whole analysis of why this is the wrong approach to immigration and border security.

Last year, Heritage experts compiled their recommendations for a step-by-step reform that fixes our broken immigration system without granting amnesty.

What do you think Congress should do if President Obama goes through with this legalization?

How We Can Save Lives By Simply Changing the Debate

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In Heritage Work

Heritage Foundation expert James Carafano explains that autonomous military technology, commonly referred to as drones, has “the potential to increase U.S. effectiveness on the battlefield, while decreasing damage and loss of human life.”

While there has been controversy on this topic, Carafano tells us where the focus of the discussion should be:

Understanding the capabilities and limits of autonomous technology dispels fears of Terminator-like robots taking over the world and refocuses the discussion on the opportunities that these systems present, and the responsibility of lawmakers to set clear guidelines for their development.

He lists three steps Congress should take to enable drones and other autonomous military technologies to save lives:

  1. Insist that military developments be based on suitable, feasible, and morally acceptable mission requirements and realistic appreciation of the levels of technology available.
  2. Fund research and development of autonomous technology.
  3. Review the legislative framework for addressing the current and potential problems of autonomous technology.

Read his report here and tell us: How do you feel about autonomous military technology?

Here’s the One Thing That Will Lower Gas Prices, Create Jobs, and Boost the Economy

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In Heritage Work

Heritage Foundation expert Nicolas Loris explains how opening energy markets “would create more opportunities for Americans, promote economic prosperity at home and abroad, and improve political situations around the world.”

He specifically looks at natural resources including coal, natural gas, and oil.

He says:

Expanding market opportunities for energy exports will not just benefit energy companies. By opening the door to establishing more efficient global oil markets, all Americans will reap the benefits of lower prices, more jobs, and a stronger economy. Freely trading energy will not only increase prosperity around the world, but also bolster U.S. national security by diversifying supplies in the global market.

He suggests three policy solutions:

  1. Lift natural gas export barriers.
  2. Remove the crude oil export ban. 
  3. Prevent threats to coal exports

Read the Backgrounder and tell us: Do you think a free-market energy policy will benefit the United States economy?

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