I think the best answer can be found at the end of Sydney Pollack’s 1975 spy flick, Three Days of the Condor. Robert Redford’s character (Joe Turner) is talking to CIA agent Higgins (played by Cliff Robertson) about the no-longer-secret plan to invade the Middle East for oil.
Higgins: The fact is, it wasn’t a bad plan. It could’ve worked.
Turner: Jesus — What is it with you people? You think not getting caught in a lie is the same as telling the truth.
Higgins: It’s simple economics, Turner… There’s no argument. Oil now, 10 or 15 years it’ll be food, or plutonium. Maybe sooner than that. What do you think the people will want us to do then?
Turner: Ask them!
Higgins: Now? (shakes head) Huh-uh. Ask them when they’re running out. When it’s cold at home and the engines stop and people who aren’t used to hunger… go hungry! They won’t want us to ask… (quiet savagery:) They’ll want us to GET it for them.