Donald Trump Has No Clue Where Iraq’s Oil Is

Fight disinformation. Get a daily recap of the facts that matter. Sign up for the free Mother Jones newsletter.


I know this is just spitting into the wind, but you really have to read Donald Trump’s interview with the Washington Post editorial board to believe it. Here’s one little excerpt about Iraq, American troops, and oil:

DIEHL: And could I ask you about ISIS, speaking of making commitments, because you talked recently about possibly sending 20 or 30,000 troops and—

TRUMP: No I didn’t, oh no no no, okay, I know what you’re saying….I didn’t say send 20,000. I said, well the generals are saying you’d need because they, what would it take to wipe out ISIS, I said pretty much exactly this, I said the generals, the military is saying you would need 20- to 30,000 troops, but I didn’t say that I would send them.

DIEHL: If they said that, would you go along with that and send the troops?

TRUMP: I find it hard to go along with—I mention that as an example because it’s so much….We should have never been in Iraq. It…was one of the worst decisions ever made in the history of our country. We then got out badly, then after we got out, I said, “Keep the oil. If we don’t keep it Iran’s going to get it.” And it turns out Iran and ISIS basically—

HIATT: How do you keep it without troops, how do you defend the oil?

TRUMP: You would… You would, well for that— for that, I would circle it. I would defend those areas.

HIATT: With U.S. troops?

TRUMP: Yeah, I would defend the areas with the oil.

Trump seems to be under the impression that Iraq’s oil is in a region about the size of Central Park that he could just surround and protect. The map on the right—which has been printed in magazines and newspapers thousands of times over the past decade—shows where the oil really is: everywhere. Trump would need a Maginot Line about 1,500 miles long to “circle it.”

But he doesn’t want to send over 20,000 troops. In fact, he suggests that’s obviously preposterous. 20,000 troops!

I’m no military man, but I’m pretty sure a front 1,500 miles long would require a little more than 20,000 troops. Maybe Trump is planning to build a wall instead.

BY THE WAY: This isn’t even the best part of the interview. I just chose it sort of at random. You can dive in pretty much anywhere and get stuff just as good. Trump’s extended riff on his hands is a good place to start.

HERE ARE THE FACTS:

Our fall fundraising drive is off to a rough start, and we very much need to raise $250,000 in the next couple of weeks. If you value the journalism you get from Mother Jones, please help us do it with a donation today.

As we wrote over the summer, traffic has been down at Mother Jones and a lot of sites with many people thinking news is less important now that Donald Trump is no longer president. But if you're reading this, you're not one of those people, and we're hoping we can rally support from folks like you who really get why our reporting matters right now. And that's how it's always worked: For 45 years now, a relatively small group of readers (compared to everyone we reach) who pitch in from time to time has allowed Mother Jones to do the type of journalism the moment demands and keep it free for everyone else.

Please pitch in with a donation during our fall fundraising drive if you can. We can't afford to come up short, and there's still a long way to go by November 5.

payment methods

ONE MORE QUICK THING:

Our fall fundraising drive is off to a rough start, and we very much need to raise $250,000 in the next couple of weeks. If you value the journalism you get from Mother Jones, please help us do it with a donation today.

As we wrote over the summer, traffic has been down at Mother Jones and a lot of sites with many people thinking news is less important now that Donald Trump is no longer president. But if you're reading this, you're not one of those people, and we're hoping we can rally support from folks like you who really get why our reporting matters right now. And that's how it's always worked: For 45 years now, a relatively small group of readers (compared to everyone we reach) who pitch in from time to time has allowed Mother Jones to do the type of journalism the moment demands and keep it free for everyone else.

Please pitch in with a donation during our fall fundraising drive if you can. We can't afford to come up short, and there's still a long way to go by November 5.

payment methods

We Recommend

Latest

Sign up for our free newsletter

Subscribe to the Mother Jones Daily to have our top stories delivered directly to your inbox.

Get our award-winning magazine

Save big on a full year of investigations, ideas, and insights.

Subscribe

Support our journalism

Help Mother Jones' reporters dig deep with a tax-deductible donation.

Donate