Climate Change and Water Woes Drove ISIS Recruiting in Iraq

National Geographic’s Peter Schwartzstein writes about how climate change and drought facilitated ISIS’s recruitment efforts in Iraq. He explains, “With every flood or bout of extreme heat or cold, the jihadists would reappear, often supplementing their sales pitches with gifts.” Writing about farmers in rural Iraq and Syria, Schwartzstein adds, “These men were in no state to navigate the extra challenges of climate change. And so when ISIS came along, propelled in large part by sectarian grievances and religious fanaticism, many of the most environmentally damaged Sunni Arab villages quickly emerged as some of the deep-pocketed jihadists’ foremost recruiting grounds.” Although ISIS is largely defeated in Iraq, Schwartzstein warns that the drought conditions that contributed to successes in recruiting are returning to the country.

Read at National Geographic

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