John Robb has a must-read post today about the "guerilla entrepreneurs" now operating in Iraq. If you want to know why this insurgency in Iraq is going to be so tough to stop, start clicking.
Arab warfare, until late in this century, was driven entirely by entrepreneurship. For example: Lawrence of Arabia, the father of modern guerrilla warfare, used combinations of direct payments and the promise of loot to build his forces. Faith played a major part, but it was almost always secondary.Recent reports confirm from the US military analysts confirm the financial nature of the open source bazaar in Iraq:THERE'S MORE: "About $500 million in unaccounted funds from Saddam Hussein's former regime is being used to finance a growing insurgency in Iraq," according to CNN.* "Unlimited amounts" of violence capital for guerrilla entrepreneurs is flowing into Iraq from ex-Baathists, relatives of Saddam Hussein, Saudi sources, and bin Laden. Given global guerrilla ROIs (returns on investment) of up to 100,000 x, this should be cause for alarm.* Loot from convoy hijackings, theft of oil through bunkering, and ransoms play a major part of the motivation for attacks. Fully 80% of the attacks fall into this category.* A granular competitive market. There are over 50 guerrilla groups active in Iraq. The sheer diversity of the effort indicates a process that is very similar to historical patterns of Arab warfare.