Several of the architects of the Iraq War no longer even bother to deny that oil was a major motivator. On National Public Radio's To the Point, Fadhil Chalabi, an Iraqi advisor to the State Department in the lead-up to the invasion, recently described the war as "a strategic move on the part of the United States of America and the UK to have a military presence in the Gulf in order to secure [oil] supplies in the future." Chalabi, who served as Iraq's oil under secretary, described this as "a primary objective."You can hear Chalabi say these things yourself yourself at the KCRW website. I can confirm Klein's account.
To provide an up-to-date take on this issue, consider that declining oil prices reduce Iraq's ability to defend itself. That's fairly important since the U.S. certainly wants to leave Iraq in the hands of a stable and secure government.
Additionally, oil remains a potential major area of dispute among Iraq's sectarian communities. Recently, as Reuters reported, the Oil Ministry denied efforts by the "largely autonomous Kurdish region" to export petroleum from oil fields in northern Iraq. Optimists want you to believe that this problem can be resolved peacefully, though licenses granted to private oil companies to develop new oil fields are being called "illegal."
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