This is old news, but it's applicable to today and well worth reviewing and remembering. It is all detailed in the book, Confessions of an Economic Hit Man (2004), by John Perkins, who was formerly an economic hit man for the Corporatocracy.
Perkins explains how, when a third world country has resources coveted by mega corporations and/or the Government in the US, those resources are obtained via the following process. If the country with the resources is not cooperative, a series of huge loans to that country is arranged through the World Bank. The money eventually goes to multi-national mega corporations such as Bechtel and Halliburton; they are hired by the country to build ports, industrial plants, roads, etc. When the country is so far in debt that it has little or no possibility of getting out of debt, economic hit men are sent in to strike a deal---for natural resources (such as oil), or favorable votes in the U.N., or agreements for certain other actions. If the economic hit men fail, then the "jackals" (assassins) are sent in, usually from the CIA; if they fail, then the military (as part of a "coalition") is sent in to bring about the desired regime change.
About 1959-1960 a very young, CIA-backed jackal by the name of Saddam Hussein attempted to assassinate the President of Iraq, Abdel Qassim. Qassim's major sin was that he was going to nationalize Iraqi oil. At the time, the Iraqi Petroleum Company (IPC) was 95% controlled by the US, Britain, and France. The assassination attempt failed, but Qassim was eliminated anyway not long after that; economic hit men had failed to dissuade him from his plan to nationalize all oil in Iraq, so the CIA orchestrated his demise.
In the early '70s, just after the OPEC oil embargo of the US, economic hit men were sent to the House of Saud in Saudi Arabia to strike the "deal of the century" for the Corporatocracy. President Nixon had taken the US completely off the Gold Standard (because the country was bankrupt) and there was great concern in the Corporatocracy that the world would not accept the US dollar as the globe's reserve currency. In the "deal of the century", the House of Saud agreed to sell its oil for dollars only and to purchase US Treasury Securities; in return the Saudis were guaranteed two very important things--- the Corporatocracy would see to it that they remained in power, and would invest in industry and infrastructure in Saudi Arabia. The economic hit men were successful in swinging the deal.
Saddam Hussein took power in Iraq in 1979. During the '80s, the Corporatocracy decided that they would propose the same deal to Saddam. After all, he was more or less "our man" against the Iranians at that time and was a great purchaser of US arms and munitions. The economic hit men went to Baghdad, but failed to convince Saddam to accept a deal. Jackals were sent in, but failed to assassinate him. The rest is, as they say, history. [He wasn't eliminated during/immediately after the original Gulf War for many reasons, and the explanation of those is too lengthy for this posting.]
The Corporatocracy's interest in Afghanistan began long before the tragedy of 9-11-01. Long story short: Western oil interests needed a pipeline across the country of Afghanistan. Finally, several months prior to our invasion of that country (and prior to 9-11), economic hit men negotiated with the Taliban concerning the proposed oil pipeline. Taliban representatives actually came to the US to negotiate. A deal seemed close, but the whole thing fell through. At that time, according to a French Intelligence analyst by the name of Brisard, CIA representatives told the Taliban representatives, "Either you will accept our carpet of gold [for the pipeline], or we'll give you a carpet of bombs." Then came 9-11; after that came our first invasion of Afghanistan, accompanied by a carpet of bombs. The entire story is detailed in the book, Bin Laden, The Forbidden Truth (2002) by Brisard and DasQuie (both intelligence analysts in France).
If even only a smidgin of all of the above is completely accurate and true, then the implications relative to our involvement in both Iraq and Afghanistan are obvious and telling.
[Another interesting book (in addition to the two mentioned above) is Robert Baer's See No Evil: The True Story of a Ground Soldier in the CIA's War on Terrorism (2002).]