Today, the Australian Minister of Defence, on the basis that Australia's reasoning has always had to mimic the American's, has finally let the cat out of the bag.
Will Dick Cheney ever own up?
Speaking ahead of today's key foreign policy speech by Prime Minister John Howard, Dr Nelson said defence was about protecting the economy as well as physical security.
Dr Nelson also said it was important to support the "prestige" of the US and UK.
"The defence update we're releasing today sets out many priorities for Australia's defence and security, and resource security is one of them," he told ABC radio.
"The entire (Middle East) region is an important supplier of energy, oil in particular, to the rest of the world.
"Australians and all of us need to think well what would happen if there were a premature withdrawal from Iraq?"