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How the oil wars myth continues to shape US foreign policy

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Listen: How the oil wars myth continues to shape US foreign policy

US President Donald Trump has used the phrase "take the oil" many times, both as a candidate to criticize previous administrations' strategies in Iraq and while in the White House when discussing Syria.

The idea is rooted in the belief that countries have gone to war in the past to grab natural resources, especially oil.

This week's guest scrutinized that idea in her new book, "The Oil Wars Myth."

Emily Meierding, an assistant professor at the Naval Postgraduate School, analyzed more than 600 international military disputes between 1912 and 2010, and determined that classic oil wars are a myth.

She argues this myth creates a collective intellectual blind spot that continues to shape contemporary foreign policy choices.

We talk about how the idea of oil wars shapes US foreign policy, how the global shift toward oil supply abundance changes this debate, and how current low oil revenues could pose security risks and increase regional aggression.