American sources made it clear that the United States fully intended taking over Iraq’s oil fields, administering them in the long term and using Iraqi oil revenues to partly defray the costs of conducting war and maintaining a long-term military occupation of Iraq.
According to DEBKAfile’s Washington sources, the war bill which, unlike Gulf War I, America will carry more or less single-handed, is estimated at $130 billion, while maintaining app. 70,000 US troops in the country to protect the oil fields and maintain Iraq’s post-war stability could run to another $10-12 billion a year. To raise this cash, the United States plans to increase Iraq’s oil output from 1.6 million to 6.5 million barrels per day, necessitating further heavy outlay for renovating the badly run down Iraqi oil production equipment.
At the same time, the long-term, military-backed control over Iraq’s oil resources – on the spot rather than from outside the region – will make America the leading strategic-political-military force in the Middle East and Persian Gulf as well giving Washington a controlling interest in the global oil market.
Henry L. Marconi PRAVDA.Ru Sydney