Saturday, February 20, 2016

If the 2003 US invasion of Iraq was not a mistake, what was it?

The US chattering class is busy rethinking the 2003 Iraq invasion.

From 1945 to 1970, the US had cheap oil and extraordinary power. This made it possible for the US population -- 5% of the world population -- able to consume 40% of world resources.

From 1970 to 2005, though US oil production had peaked, world oil production continued to grow. So US power also continued, as everyone needed dollars to buy oil, and cheap oil allowed massive debt-fueled growth. Growth is essential to capitalism, because it holds out hope to billions of people that if the pie grows they will get a slice.

Now the only large reserves of cheap oil left are Saudi Arabia and Kirkuk, Iraq. Saudi Arabia is expected to stop exporting oil in 2030.

There are two ways to handle this problem. War or degrowth. US chose war. How is it working out?