A new study shows oil-rich countries are a hundred times more likely to face foreign intervention and conflicts. The research by academics from the universities of Warwick, Portsmouth and Essex in the UK indicates that foreign governments are 100 times more likely to intervene in internal conflicts of other states, if the troubled countries are home to hydrocarbon reserves. The study examined 69 civil wars between 1945 and 1999. It said civil wars amount to 90% of all militarized conflicts since the close of World War II, and almost 67% of these have been characterized by foreign intervention.
It depicts oil as a dominant motivating factor in conflicts, and argues that hydrocarbons heavily influenced the West’s military intervention in Libya in North Africa. It also suggests oil plays a noteworthy factor in the so-called US-led coalition against the ISIL in the Middle East. Factors which played a part in influencing a foreign government’s decision to intervene included the military might and strength of insurgents on the ground, and the extent to which they sought to control valuable resources such as oil, RT reported Wednesday.
The report said foreign governments’ decision to intervene was largely dominated by their desire to control oil supplies in conflict-ridden states, while historical, geographic and cultural or ethnic ties were far less important. The researchers further noted that the United States maintains military presence in countries that produce oil, and have a long history of backing despotic regimes despite America’s supposed agenda of democratization. The study suggests the world can expect a cycle of low intervention in years to come because plunging oil prices make it a less valuable resource to protect.