The top-secret Cold War plan to keep Soviet hands off Middle Eastern oil

On a cool summer day in London in 1951, an American CIA officer told three British oil executives about a top-secret U.S. government plan. The goal was to ravage the Middle East oil industry if the region were ever invaded by the Soviet Union. Oil wells would be plugged, equipment and fuel stockpiles destroyed, refineries and pipelines disabled — anything to keep the USSR from getting its hands on valuable oil resources. The CIA called it the “denial policy.”