Prolonged war in Iraq could have unknown consequences

An extended war with Iraq would have severe consequences that are likely unanticipated by the US and its allies, said some academic experts at a Jan. 17 forum on Middle East oil at the University of Houston.The world economy is "in good shape to weather a quick, victorious war" between Iraq and US-led forces, "said Joseph A Pratt, Cullen professor of history and business at the University of Houston. But the world economy is not prepared "if this becomes a real war instead of a TV war" as was Desert Storm in 1991, he said.If anticipated military action against Iraq bogs down or—even worse—spills over into other Middle East oil-producing countries, Pratt predicted, "The US will...

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