Aussie Defence Minister: Iraq War About Oil

By Ryan McGreal
Published July 05, 2007

Australian Defence Minister Brendan Nelson (Image Credit: BBC)
Australian Defence Minister Brendan Nelson (Image Credit: BBC)

The Beeb reports that Brendan Nelson, Defence Minister for Australia, has admitted that the country joined the invasion of Iraq to maintain "resource security".

In comments to the Australian Broadcasting Corporation, Mr Nelson admitted that the supply of oil had influenced Australia's strategic planning in the region.

"Obviously the Middle East itself, not only Iraq but the entire region, is an important supplier of energy, oil in particular, to the rest of the world," he said.

"Australians and all of us need to think what would happen if there were a premature withdrawal from Iraq.

"It's in our interests, our security interests, to make sure that we leave the Middle East, and leave Iraq in particular, in a position of sustainable security."

Prime Minister John Howard rushed to pooh-pooh the suggestion, reminding voters that "the reason we remain there is that we want to give the people of Iraq a possibility of embracing democracy."

Against accusations that they were just looking for a good time, not a long time, the government insisted that Australian military forces won't conduct a "premature withdrawal" from Iraq.

(with files from Captain Obvious)

Ryan McGreal, the editor of Raise the Hammer, lives in Hamilton with his family and works as a programmer, writer and consultant. Ryan volunteers with Hamilton Light Rail, a citizen group dedicated to bringing light rail transit to Hamilton. Ryan wrote a city affairs column in Hamilton Magazine, and several of his articles have been published in the Hamilton Spectator. His articles have also been published in The Walrus, HuffPost and Behind the Numbers. He maintains a personal website, has been known to share passing thoughts on Twitter and Facebook, and posts the occasional cat photo on Instagram.


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