One of the nations Russia has been buying oil from is Iraq. In a six-month period in 1998, Russia purchased 107 million barrels of Iraqi oil, making Russia the largest purchaser under the UN's "oil-for-food" program. Why does Russia find it necessary to buy so much oil and why from Iraq? Nyquist believes this is a payoff to Iraq and another big tip-off of an impending war.
Like food, a modern society cannot exist without oil. Nyquist notes that the Russian military is very aware of the lessons of World War II. They know that the German war machine was actually more productive at the height of allied bombing in 1944. Not until Russian troops physically occupied the Romanian oil fields, the lifeblood of the German war machine, did German war production grind to a halt.
In a global war in which nuclear weapons are used, the nation that has resources of food and oil will have a critical advantage. The nation that doesn't have significant reserves will likely be utterly destroyed -- no matter how wealthy that nation is before the war starts.