Trump Extends 2003 ‘National Emergency’ on Iraq

Extension order claims Iraq's instability an 'unusual and extraordinary threat'

President Trump has issued a statement extending the May 22, 2003 National Emergency created by President Bush on the situation in Iraq. Trump’s statement cited the “unusual and extraordinary threat” posed by Iraqi instability.

The Bush emergency, Executive Order 13303, was meant to facilitate Iraqi reconstruction in theory. In practice, it gave US oil companies blanket immunity from lawsuits related to selling Iraqi oil.

This was criticized as Bush’s attempt to facilitate the US taking Iraqi oil after the invasion and occupation. That’s very on-brand for Trump too, so 17 years later he is just going to kick the state of emergency down the road.

Iraqi instability certainly means a very different thing in 2020 than it did in 2003, and trying to encourage Iraqi oil investment makes a lot less sense now than it did then. With the US pushing Iraq and other nations to cut oil production to shore up prices, its highly unlikely any company wants to invest heavily in Iraq, even if they get legal immunity.

Author: Jason Ditz

Jason Ditz is news editor of Antiwar.com.