Iraq's Oil Shock

As the country's energy nightmare continues, US troops are using nearly 40 times more fuel per day than the average, increasingly angry Iraqi. Registration required at Slate.

Published: 19-Jan-2006

We know that the Bush administration was flat wrong about weapons of mass destruction in Iraq. And now, nearly three years after the beginning of the war, it's also clear that top Bush officials were just as delusional about Iraq's energy business and how critical the energy sector would be to achieving security and stability in Iraq. Continuing failure with this vital part of the reconstruction is costing the United States - and the Iraqi people - very dearly.

During the run-up to the war, the Bush administration denied that oil was a factor in its desire to oust Saddam Hussein from power: Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld, during a November 2002 interview with CBS News' Steve Kroft, declared that the approaching U.S. invasion had "nothing to do with oil, literally nothing to do with oil." But four months later, as U.S. troops seized Iraq's oil infrastructure and closed in on Baghdad, then-Deputy Defense Secretary Paul Wolfowitz (now the president of the World Bank) made it clear that Iraq's oil was going to save American taxpayers a lot of money. Wolfowitz told Congress on March 27, 2003, that the U.S. was "dealing with a country that can really finance its own reconstruction, and relatively soon." He added that Iraq's oil revenues could "bring between $50 billion and $100 billion over the course of the next two or three years."

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