US Studying International Law To Determine Oil Field Rights In Event Of War With Iraq

The Drudge Report
Wed Jan 29 2003 10:10:54 ET

If U.S. forces find themselves in control of Iraq, international law would give them a large degree of leeway in managing the country's oil fields, the WALL STREET JOURNAL reported on Wednesday. MORE

Some analysts expect Washington -- eager to avoid accusations of going to war for oil - - to refrain from making big decisions about the industry in the early days of any Iraqi occupation.

But international treaties concerning military occupation and precedents dating to the early 1800s give the administration ammunition to press for a more aggressive role in Iraq's oil patch.

For now, military planners are focused on how best to secure oil infrastructure and protect it from possible sabotage by Saddam Hussein, officials say. But Pentagon and State Department attorneys also are debating how to interpret various treaties and precedents for a number of scenarios that may unfold in Iraq.