Last night, November 22, at the GOP Debate, Herman Cain suggested cutting off Syria’s oil exports as a way to target them economically. Immediately, he began receiving criticism, and the “uninformed” title continued.

According to the CIA World Factbook, in 2009 Syria exported 263,000 barrels of oil per day. At the 2009 average rate of $53.48 per barrel, that’s $14,065,240 per day. Given 365 days in a year, this comes to $5,133,812,600. Their total exports were $10.88 billion. So the media is trying to say that A: Syria has no oil, and B: taking away approximately 48% of a nation’s export income would do nothing?

Their entire GDP was $104 billion so it’s only 5% of GDP… but still…Cain isn’t stupid.

I am not an economics, or foreign policy expert, and do not claim to be, so someone please feel free to correct me. This is just my rough math after less than an hour of research.


*Update* According to the International Monetary Fund, oil sales for 2010 were projected to generate $3.2 billion for the Syrian government and account for 25.1% of the state’s revenue.

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