argument top image

Is Tony Blair a war criminal?
Back to question

Tony Blair was motivated by financial greed

The invasion had no purpose, other than to seize control of Iraqi oil resources. Tony Blair is a war criminal.
Tony Blair United Kingdom War


According to many inside voices and public speculations, the main motive for the invasion of Iraq was for the UK and the United States to have access to the oil resources of the country.

The Argument

It seems as though the main motivation for the Iraq war in 2003 was not to prevent the use of the alleged weapons of mass destruction by Saddam Hussein but to grant the UK and the United States privileged access to Iraqi oil resources. This argument is supported by many statements coming from officials closely involved with the operation, like the former US- Defence Secretary Chuck Hagel who said “People say we’re not fighting for oil. Of course, we are.” This interest in Iraq was particularly high as the country holds some of the biggest oil and gas reserves worldwide. However, the UK and the US were afraid of the unpredictable turns that Saddam Hussein’s policies could take and feared that he might “remove Iraqi oil from the market for an extended period of time” as it is noted in the infamous Energy Security report of 2001. Prior to the Iraq war of 2003, the oil industry of the country was fully nationalised. However, ten years later foreign companies dominate the market and the entire industry is mainly privatised. Big British oil companies like BP and Shell massively profited from this new policy that was forced upon the Iraqi authorities in the context of armed conflict. If the quest for oil access is deemed to be the main reason for the invasion of Iraq under the command of Tony Blair, it can be concluded that his efforts were financially motivated and aimed at enhancing the influence of British companies in the Iraqi oil industry.

Counter arguments

Financial interests with regards to the Iraqi oil industry were not the main drivers for the intervention in Iraq. Other arguments point more towards the official stance the coalition adopted with regards to the alleged weapons of mass destruction that Saddam Hussein was said to dispose of. Their threat to peace and international security made the intervention necessary in the eye of the UK and the United States.



A liberalisation of the Iraqi oil market is only possible through war.


[P1] Liberalized markets are the best way to ensure wealth and prosperity. [P2] It is legitimate to force economic liberalisation through war.

Rejecting the premises

[P1] Nationalised markets are better than liberalised ones. [P2] Economic policies shouldn’t be achieved through war.


This page was last edited on Tuesday, 3 Nov 2020 at 15:35 UTC

Explore related arguments