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The second gasoline war and how we can prevent the third

BMJ 2003; 326 doi: https://doi.org/10.1136/bmj.326.7381.171 (Published 18 January 2003) Cite this as: BMJ 2003;326:171
  1. Ian Roberts (ian.roberts@LSHTM.ac.uk), professor of public health
  1. London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine

    War in Iraq is inevitable. That there would be war was decided by north American planners in the mid-1920s. That it would be in Iraq was decided much more recently. The architects of this war were not military planners but town planners. War is inevitable not because of weapons of mass destruction as claimed by the political right, nor Western imperialism as claimed by the left. The cause of this war, and probably the one that will follow, is car dependence.

    The United States has paved itself into a corner. The physical and economic infrastructure of the United States is so highly car dependent that it is pathologically addicted to oil. Without billions of barrels of precious black sludge being pumped into the veins of the US economy every year, the nation would experience painful and damaging withdrawal.

    The United States has paved itself into a corner

    The first Model T Ford rolled off the assembly line in 1908 and was a miracle of mass production. …

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