WASHINGTON (AP) - President Bush envisions a long-term U.S. troop presence in Iraq similar to the one in South Korea where American forces have helped keep an uneasy peace for more than 50 years, the White House said Wednesday. . . .
From Mother Jones March/April 2003:
. . . As vital as the Persian Gulf is now, its strategic importance is likely to grow exponentially in the next 20 years. Nearly one out of every three barrels of oil reserves in the world lie under just two countries: Saudi Arabia (with 259 billion barrels of proven reserves) and Iraq (112 billion). Those figures may understate Iraq's largely unexplored reserves, which according to U.S. government estimates may hold as many as 432 billion barrels.
. . . .
Anne Joyce, an editor at the Washington-based Middle East Policy Council who has spoken privately to top Exxon officials, says it's clear that most oil-industry executives "are afraid" of what a war in the Persian Gulf could mean in the long term -- especially if tensions in the region spiral out of control. "They see it as much too risky, and they are risk averse," she says. "They think it has 'fiasco' written all over it."