Aftandilian Publishes Op-Ed on Trump and Iraqi Oil


Gregory Aftandilian, Lecturer at the Frederick S. Pardee School of Global Studies at Boston University, published a recent Op-Ed examining recent comments made by United States President Donald Trump at the Central Intelligence Agency about Iraqi oil. The Op-Ed was picked up by several media outlets.

Aftandilian’s Op-Ed, entitled “Trump’s Comments About Iraqi Oil are Dangerous,” was published in The Arab Weekly on February 5, 2017.

From the text of the article:

This is not the first time Trump has advocated such an economic grab and sounded like an early 20th century imperialist. He said the same thing at a so-called com­mander-in-chief forum in New York last September during the height of the US presidential campaign.

For Trump, everything is trans­actional. In his mind, if the United States spent lots on money in Iraq, it would be only natural to take the oil as part of the deal and maybe he was trying to play cute by saying “you’ll have another chance” to take Iraqi oil at some future date.

These comments reflect Trump’s deep ignorance of modern Middle Eastern history, especially how the exploitation of oil resources drove a good part of European imperialism in the region. The comments must have made the CIA analysts, who pride themselves on understanding a particular country or region’s his­tory, politics and culture, cringe.

You can read the entire article here.

The Op-Ed was also published by Middle East Online on February 7, 2017. You can read it here.

Aftandilian spent over 21 years in government service, most recently on Capitol Hill where he was foreign policy adviser to Congressman Chris Van Hollen (2007-2008), professional staff member of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee and foreign policy adviser to Senator Paul Sarbanes (2000-2004), and foreign policy fellow to the late Senator Edward Kennedy (1999). Learn more about him here.