Could fracking have prevented the Iraq War?

Besides the “weapons of mass destruction” that were supposed to be in Iraq there was another huge motive to get in there. Oil. We were between booms and relying heavily on foreign oil. & who had the cheapest lifting cost? Iraq did.


That was in 2003 and an oil shale development program here was just initiated, years out from being the boom we know today. Candidly described in a 2001 report on "energy security" - commissioned by then US Vice-President Dick Cheney - published by the Council on Foreign Relations and the James Baker Institute for Public Policy. It warned of an impending global energy crisis that would increase "US and global vulnerability to disruption", and leave the US facing "unprecedented energy price volatility."


The real goal of it all - as Greg Muttitt documented in his book Fuel on the Fire citing declassified Foreign Office files from 2003 onwards - was stabilising global energy supplies as a whole by ensuring the free flow of Iraqi oil to world markets - benefits to US and UK companies constituted an important but secondary goal:

"The most important strategic interest lay in expanding global energy supplies, through foreign investment, in some of the world's largest oil reserves – in particular Iraq. This meshed neatly with the secondary aim of securing contracts for their companies. Note that the strategy documents released here tend to refer to 'British and global energy supplies.' British energy security is to be obtained by there being ample global supplies – it is not about the specific flow."


To this end, as Whitehall documents obtained by the Independent show, the US and British sought to privatise Iraqi oil production with a view to allow foreign companies to takeover. Minutes of a meeting held on 12 May 2003 said:

"The future shape of the Iraqi industry will affect oil markets, and the functioning of Opec, in both of which we have a vital interest."


A "desirable" outcome for Iraqi's crippled oil industry, officials concluded, is:

"... an oil sector open and attractive to foreign investment, with appropriate arrangements for the exploitation of new fields."


So the question is, if we had started fracking earlier, could we have been more dependent on our own oil & not have to secure our supplies elsewhere?



This accepts the premise of Iraq being a "war for oil", which it wasn't - not withstanding the one book the writer uses to back up her premise that it was. Certainly the United States, the West (including Europe) and to some extent the world as a whole has economic (and therefore national security) interests tied up in the Middle East due to the oil reserves there. That is a far cry from saying the raison d'etre for the invasion of Iraq was due to oil. Was it a strategic goal/factor that was brought to the attention of allies? Sure. Anytime you plan a large scale endeavor like a war (especially), you would hope your planners include every angle and reason in the positive/negative review for the go/no go decision. The security of the Middle East and its oil supplies was certainly ONE OF the strategic positives but not the ONLY one and not the PRIMARY one. Saddam had violated the Persian Gulf War treaty requirements (including account for WMD) and had violated 16 separate UN Resolutions. The treaty and UN violations were the primary reasons in the Iraq War resolution approved by Congress, with WMD being a side bar. It became more important, yes, as it was used to try to push reluctant members of the(morally compromised, financially corrupt) UN to vote to join the coalition. As it turns out, Saddams papers found after the war show France and Germany were working WITH Saddam to try to thwart the UN votes and revoke the sanctions against Iraq - in return for oil contracts for specific people in each country. You might as well say, "Would we have any interest in supporting Israel if there were no oil interests." We are supporting a friendly democracy in a troubled part of the world where a majority of the people surrounding Israel would like nothing more than to kill all the Jewish people there. That there is a security interest in keeping Israel there to provide a counter balance to retrograde interests (China and Russia...to some extent France and Germany who still have quasi-colonial interests in the Middle East in addition to helping Saddam breach the sanctions regime) is the primary strategic goal. Preventing a second genocide of the Jewish people is the primary moral and ideological goal, however, and the only one necessary for the US. Our military presence and actions in the Middle East is, in very broad terms, about helping people achieve freedom and, hopefully, helping those people find their way to a different culture not founded on a death cult religious fervor that results in terrorist attacks on the West. After 9/11 and in the broader sense, that would be another devoutly wished strategic and moral aim. Finally, the fact that the US has taken no oil concessions for war cost reparations should show that the "war for oil" meme is merely a reflexively anti-war propaganda talking point.

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