Greenwald Publishes Article on Policing Terror Finance

Michael B. Greenwald (Pardee ’07), Lecturer at the Frederick S. Pardee School of Global Studies at Boston University, published a recent article on United States strategy of policing terror finance in the age of great power competition. 

Greenwald’s article, entitled “Policing Terror Finance in an Era of Great Competition,” was published on May 7, 2019  by the Harvard Kennedy School’s Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs.  

From the text of the article:

America’s sanctions strategy is increasingly burdened by the involvement of systemically important financial institutions and sovereign investors in global financial statecraft. In the post-9/11 world, Washington’s strategy was highly effective in pursuing non-state actors like al-Qaeda or ISIS, as well as small, rogue nations like Iran. Yet in addressing larger sovereigns like the Kremlin, US strategy has struggled to maintain the same effectiveness given the cross-border financial connections linking these entities to Western markets. As an era of great power competition among Washington, Moscow, and Beijing sets in, these foes will crowd out smaller, non-state actors, thus demanding an adequate response from the Treasury.

Even in the West, the fraying of the transatlantic sanctions relationship is likely to produce greater uncertainty among banks. In 2014, Washington fined BNP Paribas nearly $9B for providing correspondent services to Sudanese and Iranian clients. In the moment, the enforcement action was seen as a strong deterrent toward European private actors cooperating with sanctioned entities, but the money laundering scandals of 2018 prove that the gaping holes in the European system are still unplugged more than four years on.

In an era of great power competition, it is increasingly important that relevant authorities recognize the holes in the Anti-Money Laundering and Countering Financing of Terrorism (AML/CFT) framework as not merely law enforcement impediments, but as critical national security threats. During the War on Terror, a push for tighter AML recognized the role illicit financing channels play in nourishing and supporting the growth of international terrorist bodies. Policy at this time sought to limit terrorist actors’ access to funds through the legitimate and illegitimate financial sectors alike. Washington used financial intelligence to gain vital information on the operation of terrorist bodies.

Michael B. Greenwald is currently a Senior Vice President of Tiedemann Advisors and is responsible for working with clients and prospective clients and assisting with the Firm’s business development efforts. Michael is also the Senior Advisor to the President and CEO Fred Kempe of the Atlantic Council. Learn more about him here