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"Fueling the Fire: Pathways from Oil to War"

Refining crude oil in Al Mansura, east of Al Raqqah, northern Syria, May 8, 2013.
Rex Features via AP Images

"Fueling the Fire: Pathways from Oil to War"

Journal Article, International Security, volume 38, issue 2, pages 147-180

Fall 2013

Author: Jeff D. Colgan

Belfer Center Programs or Projects: Quarterly Journal: International Security



While the threat of "resource wars" over possession of oil reserves is often exaggerated, between one-quarter and one-half of interstate wars since 1973 have been connected to one or more of eight distinct oil-related causal mechanisms. Understanding these mechanisms can help policymakers design grand strategy and allocate military resources.


Full text:


The author has written a policy brief based on this article, "Oil, Conflict, and U.S. National Interests."


For more information about this publication please contact the IS Editorial Assistant at 617-495-1914.

For Academic Citation:

Colgan, Jeff D. "Fueling the Fire: Pathways from Oil to War." International Security 38, no. 2 (Fall 2013): 147-180.

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