Jonah Goldberg linked to this fascinating map. Each US state is labeled with the name of a country with approximately the same GDP. The map demonstrates why it would be very stupid for the United States to go to war for raw materials: it just wouldn't be worth it. War is bad for business. It sucks up lives and treasure. It's destabilizing. And if we took over Saudi Arabia, the great king of oil exports, all we'd be getting is the equivalent of Tennessee--a lovely state to be sure, home of my sister, brother-in-law, and nephew, but not worth enough to go to all the trouble of invading somebody and fighting a war over. If we took over Iran, all we'd get would be the equivalent of Alabama. There's no equivalent given for Iraq, but I bet it's no more productive than, say, Delaware.
There's no equivalent for Spain either, but probably Texas or Florida would be about right. Shocking: Russia's economy is no bigger than New Jersey's. How the mighty have fallen. What a complete disaster area of a country. They have never had a decent government in their whole history--probably the best ruler ever was Catherine the Great, who was comparatively enlightened, being German and all. And that wasn't precisely a liberal free-market constitutional democracy. France is economically about the size of California, meaning the only countries whose GDP is larger than any state's are Japan, Germany, and the UK. Kansas is comparable to Malaysia, which is a pretty successful country, and Missouri is comparable to Poland.
Check out the whole blog. It's cool.