Friday, January 30, 2015

WaPo bluntly stating what I been tryna tell cats for years..., everything else is merely conversation!


WaPo  |  The “thirst for oil” is often put forward as a near self-evident explanation behind military interventions in Libya, for instance, or Sudan. Oil, or the lack of oil, is also said to be behind the absence of intervention in Syria now and in Rwanda in 1994.

This of course clashes with the rhetoric around intervention, or its stated goal. No world leader stands before the U.N. and says they’re sending in the tanks because their country needs more oil. Such interventions are usually portrayed as serving directly non-economic goals such as preserving security, supporting democratic values, or more generally promoting human rights.

But this is often met with skepticism and media claims that economic incentives played a key role. Was Iraq really “all about oil?” It’s worth asking whether this viewpoint has some mileage, or if it is instead purely conspiracy theory.

It’s a question we’ve addressed in our research on the importance of oil production in attracting third party military interventions. In a new paper co-authored with Kristian Gleditsch in the Journal of Conflict Resolution, we model the decision-making process of third-party countries in interfering in civil wars and examine their economic motives.

Our research builds on a near-exhaustive sample of 69 countries which had a civil war between 1945 and 1999. About two-thirds of civil wars during the period saw third party intervention either by another country or outside organization.

All about the oil
We found that the decision to interfere was dominated by the interveners’ need for oil – over and above historical, geographical or ethnic ties.