Margaret Sankey, "Blood Money: How Criminals Finance Violence"

  • 07 Feb 2023
  • 5:30 PM - 7:30 PM
  • Troy University Montgomery, AL — or via Zoom video
  • 98

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Margaret Sankey, "Blood Money: How Criminals, ... and Warlords Finance Violence"

Moderator: Maj. Gen. Walter Givhan, (Ret.), ALWAC President.


Dr. Margaret Sankey is Air University's research coordinator in the Office of Sponsored Programs (“The Hub”), matching and supporting Air University assets with DAF research problems. 

Sankey earned a PhD at Auburn University in European military history, and taught military history, security studies and political science at Minnesota State Moorhead before joining the staff at the USAF Air War College as the director of research and electives.

She is the author, most recently, of Blood Money: How Criminals, Militias, Rebels, and Warlords Finance Violence (Transforming War) (USNI Press, 15 Oct 2022).

Sankey finds that the violent non-state actors (VNSAs) of the world are hiding in plain sight, fundraising through banal businesses and scams, taking advantage of globalization and diasporas. On a grand scale, their behavior erodes the rule of law, creates moral injuries from corruption, and emboldens bad actors to steal and back violent tactics with impunity. 

While reforms attempt to curtail these options, VNSAs' defiance of rules and their capable adaptation and innovation make them extremely difficult to pin down or prosecute. Blood Money also suggests both consumer and government-wide approaches to attacking illicit financing channels. 

Sankey's previous publications include Jacobite Prisoners of the 1715: Preventing and Punishing Insurrection in Early Hanoverian Britain; Women and War in the 21st Century; and the NACBS Love Prize-winning article, co-written with Dr. Daniel Szechi, "Elite Culture and the Decline of Scottish Jacobitism, 1715-1745,” in Past and Present.

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