Craig Murray has written a very interesting post looking at Iraq through the prism of J.A. Hobson’s theory of imperialism, "that imperial adventures abroad impoverish a nation but enrich certain powerful interest groups within it."
From twenty years experience as a diplomat I can tell you that the idea
that big companies drive foreign policy is not an abstract concept, but
comes down to very real contracts, very real money and very real, and
often very nasty, people. (There’s Good Money in Death)
Perhaps this story illustrates the argument:
The U.S. military has paid $548 million over the past three years to two British security firms that protect the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers on reconstruction projects, more than $200 million over the original budget, according to previously undisclosed data that show how the cost of private security in Iraq has mushroomed.
The two companies, Aegis Defence Services and Erinys Iraq, signed their original Defense Department contracts in May 2004. By July of this year, the contracts supported a private force that had grown to about 2,000 employees serving the Corps of Engineers. The force is about the size of three military battalions. (Washington Post)