Tags: oil | security | threat

Generals: Oil a Security Threat

By Gene J. Koprowski   |   Wednesday, 20 May 2009 10:00 AM

A new study by a think tank, staffed by former senior U.S. military officers, indicates that America's over-reliance on fossil fuels seriously threatens national security.

Calling the energy problems the U.S. faces a "serious and urgent threat," the group has urged the Pentagon to lead the switch to new energy sources.

According to the report by CNA, a military think tank, based in Alexandria, Va., just outside of Washington D.C., America's dependence on oil-based fuels left the U.S. military seriously over-extended in Iraq and Afghanistan.

The 62-page report reckons the true cost of fuel, including logistics and the military protection of sea lanes, pushes the price of military fuel to "hundreds of dollars a gallon."

"Our energy posture is not sustainable. It can be exploited by those who want to do us harm," retired Air Force Lt. Gen. Larry Farrell, a co-author of the report, told Business Week.

Finding a suitable alternative fuel and scaling it up to the size of the U.S. economy "is a 30-year project," Farrell said. "We've got to get started now."

The report was written by CNA's military advisory board, comprised of 12 retired generals and admirals.

Retired Adm. John Nathman, another of the co-authors, told Business Week the board deliberately tried not to inject itself into the debate over climate change. Global warming is a controversial matter about which the science is not yet settled. Back in the 1970s, for instance, alarmists were forecasting global cooling; today, they are panicked over global warming.

Nathman said his sources tell him the Pentagon may soon assign a senior officer to study the energy challenge; the officer would serve under Ashton Carter, an undersecretary of defense for technology and acquisitions.

Retired Marine Gen. Jim Jones, President Barack Obama's national security adviser and a former marine general, is expected to create a new senior slot on the National Security Council for global energy.

The report comes just a few days after the House of Representatives took up a climate change bill which would cap emissions and distribute permits for those emissions.

However, the would not auction off all of the permits, but only 15 percent with the rest distributed to a variety of industries, including power producers, according to a report in the Baltimore Sun.

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A new study by a think tank, staffed by former senior U.S. military officers, indicates that America's over-reliance on fossil fuels seriously threatens national security. Calling the energy problems the U.S. faces a "serious and urgent threat," the group has urged the...
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