Oil is “the most geopolitically important commodity,” said Reva Bhalla, vice president of global analysis at Stratfor, an advisory company in Austin, Texas. “It drives economies around the world” and is located in some “usually very volatile places.”
“When militaries are dealing with enemy networks, you find that no single personality is the sole keystone of that network … taking a key personality helps you in the short run but what you need to do is consistently take out leadership," said Paul Floyd, military analyst at the global intelligence firm Stratfor.
There are only three sectors that matter much to Russia's political elite—military weaponry, banking and energy—and the U.S. and Europe are hard-pressed to find new ways to penalize those industries in ways that aren't overly drastic, according to Lauren Goodrich, senior Eurasia analyst at global intelligence and advisory firm Stratfor.
Some 550 Germans have traveled to Iraq and Syria to fight alongside the Islamic State, and some 180 have returned home, the head of Germany's domestic intelligence agency said, newspaper Welt am Sonntag reported Nov. 23.