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?

Over the last couple weeks, millions of incoming freshmen students have stepped foot into university classrooms for the first time. It’s hard to imagine that just 13 years ago in the fall of 2001 these same young people were just beginning elementary school. For many of them, 9/11 is nothing more than a vague memory, yet it would be hard to overstate the impact this event had on their most formative years.

These children don’t remember a world without Osama Bin Laden or al-Qaeda – a world without the hateful threat of terrorism floating darkly over their heads. They grew up during the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan and said goodbye as their older siblings went off to war. They came of age in a time of severe economic recession and watched as their fathers and mothers struggled to find work.

But despite having every reason to doubt our capabilities, to be wary of our enemies and to throw up their hands and settle for less, the youth of today are determined to build a strong, rich, independent America. They know that the American capacity for hard-work will keep this land prosperous. They know that the fierce independence that burns in our hearts will keep it free. And most importantly, they know and can rest assured that at its core America was founded on an idea that this is a land of liberty where every man can make for himself and his family the life they desire. One of our experts, Matthew Spalding, wrote:

Every nation derives meaning and purpose from some unifying quality—an ethnic character, a common religion, a shared history. The United States is different. America was founded at a particular time, by a particular people, on the basis of particular principles about man, liberty, and constitutional government.

Today the aptly named Freedom Tower in New York City stands 1,776 feet tall – a visual monument to our ability to pick ourselves up and struggle for even greater heights. Americans have shown over and over again that we will never give up and never surrender and certainly never cease striving to preserve our heritage of liberty. We truly are an exceptional country.

May God always bless America.

The National September 11 Memorial and Museum

The National September 11 Memorial and Museum opened May 21 to the public in New York City.

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?

In a recent post for the blog, “The Fix,” the Washington Post’s Aaron Blake commented on Mark Riddle’s lament of the liberals’ “depth problem” noting by comparison how conservatives’ long-term investment plan for the leaders of tomorrow will pay off:

For more than 60 years, the conservative movement has heavily invested in building an organized and long-term pipeline to turn promising young leaders into election-winning candidates. They have done this through groups like the Leadership Institute, GOPAC and the Heritage Foundation, and they have invested countless millions of dollars in this effort….

Conservatives run their training and leadership development operations like a blue-chip business on the NYSE, reliably paying steady dividends.

Heritage’s Young Leaders Program helps guide young conservatives as they start their careers. This program  has proven impact, in fact two former Heritage interns were elected to Congress in 2012.

Do you think investing in young people is the right way to ensure conservative principles prevail?

 

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!

 

 

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