Economics of National Security: "Unfunding" Terror

  • October 21, 2011
  • LTC Mark W Holzer

The discussion of how best to deprive terrorist organizations of funding is necessarily broad because of the numerous means people have devised to acquire and move funds for whatever purpose they intend. How seriously the United States takes this issue can be seen just in the number of statutory provisions that have been adopted and diligence with which we update terror-associated lists that are aimed at depriving terrorists of funds. However, the National Security Strategy's treatment of this topic is very broad and it is discussed only within fairly limited contexts. This may simply be a realistic assessment of the difficulties we face in trying to dry up terrorist funding streams and the challenges of evaluating our efforts in spite of the fairly broad approach that has been undertaken in the past decade.