The Iraq war was just the first of this century's "resource wars", in which powerful countries use force to secure valuable commodities, according to the UK government's former chief scientific adviser , David King
Implicitly rejecting the US and British governments' claim they went to war to remove Saddam Hussein and search for weapons of mass destruction, he said the US had in reality been very concerned about energy security and supply, because of its reliance on foreign oil from unstable states. "Casting its eye around the world - there was Iraq," he said.
"It was certainly the view that I held at the time, and I think it is fair to say a view that quite a few people in government held," said King, who is now director of the Smith School of Enterprise and the Environment at Oxford University.
This strategy could also be used to find and keep supplies of other essentials, such as minerals, water and fertile land, he added