Oil Wars: Facts and Fictions

Wednesday, May 05, 2021 at 12:00pm to 1:00pm

Virtual Event

SSP Wednesday Seminar with speaker Emily Meierding, Naval Postgraduate School.

Do countries fight wars for oil? Given the resource’s exceptional military and economic importance, most people assume that states will do anything to obtain it. In The Oil Wars Myth (Cornell University Press, 2020), Emily Meierding challenges this conventional wisdom by demonstrating that countries do not launch major conflicts to acquire petroleum resources. Instead, the costs of foreign invasion, territorial occupation, international retaliation, and damage to oil company relations deter even the most powerful countries from initiating “classic oil wars.” Examining a century of interstate violence, she demonstrates that, at most, countries have engaged in mild sparring to advance their petroleum ambitions. The Oil Wars Myth elaborates on these findings by reassessing the presumed oil motives for many of the twentieth century’s most prominent international conflicts: World War II, the two American Gulf wars, the Iran–Iraq War, the Falklands/Malvinas War, and the Chaco War.

Event Type


Events By Interest


Events By Audience


Events By School

School of Humanities, Arts, and Social Sciences (SHASS)


security studies



Center for International Studies


Contact Email


Add to my calendar

Recent Activity