Oil war

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An oil war is a conflict about petroleum resources, or their transportation, consumption, or regulation. The term may also refer generally to any conflict in a region that contains oil reserves or is geographically positioned in a location where an entity has or may wish to develop production or transportation infrastructure for petroleum products. It is also used to refer to any of a number of specific oil wars.

Research by Emily Meierding has characterized oil wars as largely a myth.[1] She argues that proponents of oil wars underestimate the ability to seize and exploit foreign oil fields, and thus exaggerate the value of oil wars. She has examined four cases commonly described as oil wars (Japan's attack on the Dutch East Indies in World War II, Iraq's invasion of Kuwait, the Iran-Iraq War, and the Chaco War between Bolivia and Paraguay), finding that control of additional oil resources was not the main cause of aggression in the conflicts.[2]

List of wars described as oil wars[edit]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Meierding, Emily (2020-05-15). The Oil Wars Myth: Petroleum and the Causes of International Conflict. Cornell University Press. ISBN 978-1-5017-4895-0.
  2. ^ Meierding, Emily (2016-04-02). "Dismantling the Oil Wars Myth". Security Studies. 25 (2): 258–288. doi:10.1080/09636412.2016.1171968. ISSN 0963-6412. S2CID 147849960.
  3. ^ Timothy C. Winegard (2016). The First World Oil War. Toronto, Canada: University of Toronto Press.
  4. ^ "Oil led to Pearl Harbor". Salon. 5 December 2013.
  5. ^ Brogan, Patrick (1998). World Conflicts: A Comprehensive Guide to World Strife Since 1945. London: Bloomsbury. ISBN 9780810835511.
  6. ^ "Iraq Sanctions: Humanitarian Implications and Options for the Future". Global Policy Forum. August 6, 2002. The United States and the United Kingdom, who use their veto power to prolong the sanctions, bear special responsibility for the UN action. No-fly zones, periodic military attacks, and threats of regime-change block peaceful outcomes, as do vilification of Saddam Hussein, pro-sanctions propaganda, and other politicization of the crisis. Though real concerns about Iraq's security threat undoubtedly are legitimate, commercial interests, especially control over Iraq's oil resources, appear to be a driving force behind much of the policy making.
  7. ^ Juhasz, Antonia (15 April 2013). "Why the war in Iraq was fought for Big Oil". CNN.