Friday, February 13, 2009

iraq was the first 'resource war' of the century

Guardian | The Iraq war was just the first of this century's "resource wars", in which powerful countries use force to secure valuable commodities for themselves, according to the UK government's former chief scientific adviser.

Sir David King predicted that with human population growing, natural resources dwindling and seas rising because of climate change, the squeeze on the planet would lead to more conflict.

"I'm going to suggest that future historians might look back on our particular recent past and see the Iraq war as the first of the conflicts of this kind – the first of the resource wars," he told an audience of 400 in London as he delivered the British Humanist Association's Darwin Day lecture.

Implicitly rejecting the American and British governments' argument that they went to war to remove Saddam Hussein and search for weapons of mass destruction, he said that the US was very concerned about energy security and supply because of its reliance on foreign oil from unstable states. "Casting its eye around the world – there was Iraq," he said.

This strategy could also be used to maintain supplies of other essentials such as minerals, water and fertile land, he added. "Unless we get to grips with this problem globally, we potentially are going to lead ourselves into a situation where large, powerful nations will secure the resources for their own people at the expense of others."