Slick Operators

It was all about oil, some critics of the Persian Gulf War argued more than a decade ago when U.S.-led forces mobilized to push the Iraqis out of Kuwait. If Kuwait had only sand, they said, the U.S. would not have bothered to take on Saddam Hussein.

Given the shattering events of Sept. 11, few opponents of the military strikes against Osama bin Laden's al-Qaeda terror network and its Taliban protectors have made a similar assertion regarding Afghanistan. While Kuwait indeed has considerable oil beneath its sand, Afghanistan produces and processes only a tiny quantity of crude...

Want the full story?

Subscribe Now


Learn more about the benefits of being a TIME subscriber

If you are already a subscriber sign up — registration is free!