Alan Greenspan, the former Federal Reserve chairman, says the Iraq war is "largely about oil" and that American interest in the Middle East is all about ensuring enough oil flows to run the U.S. economy, according to excerpts of his new book quoted in the Los Angeles Times. "The Age of Turbulence: Adventures in a New World," is Greenspan's memoir, and he seems to know how to sell a book -- by dropping bombshells in the days before it is published.
He backpeddled a bit in an interview with the Times, saying that oil wasn't the motive for war, but that removing Saddam Hussein from power will benefit the world economy by eliminating his control over some of the world's biggest oil reserves. With politicians worried over "energy independence" and some analysts saying the world is at or near "peak oil" -- when it has pumped as much cheap easy crude as it can, and when the remaining oil will trickle in at great expense -- the political and economic importance of Middle East oil is a function of a tight and volatile supply.
Greenspan's statement highlights -- again -- the interconnected nature of three major political issues facing the United States, and indeed the world, today. Energy independence is the nexus between national security, a stable climate and a strong economy. War is only one way -- and certainly not the easiest or best way -- to ensure the country has enough energy to fuel its economy.
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