The move sheds light on the central tenet of American national security policy dating back to President Franklin Delano Roosevelt's not-so-well-known, but crucial 1945 meeting with then King of Saudi Arabia, Ibn Saud. That is, what Hampshire College Professor of Peace and World Security Studies, Michael Klare, calls a foreign policy of “Blood for Oil,” which was outlined in full as such vis-a-vis the 1980 “Carter Doctrine,” presented as part of President Jimmy Carter's 1980 State of the Union Address.
During that speech, Carter stated (emphases mine),
Let our position be absolutely clear: An attempt by any outside force to gain control of the Persian Gulf region will be regarded as an assault on the vital interests of the United States of America, and such an assault will be repelled by any means necessary, including military force.
The Carter Doctrine made it clear that domination over the procurement of the resources of the Persian Gulf (a.k.a. oil) was a national security issue for the United States, and thus, an issue largely in the hands of the Pentagon.
A historical case study of the Carter Doctrine in action, predating its official announcement, is the BP-orchestrated 1953 U.S. Central Intelligence Agency/British MI6 coup of then Iranian Prime Minister, Mohammad Mosaddegh. Contemporary case studies include the current military occupations of Iraq and Afghanistan.
The new job for Morrell, then, is less anything “new,” and more so, a textbook example of the revolving door and “blood for oil” in-action.