Economics of Scale
The quotes below, pulled from an news article, may hint as to why the Australian government sees having about 1,400 defence force personnel in Iraq as vital to the country's national security. That's roughly 0.7% of the total troop numbers. (When conversely, we refuse to sign up to the Kyoto Protocol, because, as we're repeated informed, we represent only 1.43% of global greenhouse gas emissions. Joining the fight against global warming seems not to be in the national interest.)
"Only about 13 per cent of the crude oil that we import comes from the Middle East, but we import increasing amounts of refined petrol and diesel from Singapore and Singapore gets most of its feed stock from the Middle East, [...] So if you take account of all that, about a third of our liquid fuels come from the Middle East now."
"Australia receives more oil from the Middle East than the US does, to make up for declining local output."
" ... the US military on its own uses around 400,000 barrels of oil a day to fuel its tanks, aircraft and cooking. That is about half the amount used by all Australians each day."
" ... the world would be a lot better if we were economising on oil rather than fighting over it."
via ::ABC News (Photo by AFP's Yasser Al-Zayyat)