A new report issued by a panel of retired U.S. generals and admirals is
warning that America's dependence on fossil fuels is a grave threat to
the nation's security.
In the report the retired military
leaders, who make up a group called the Military Advisory Board, say
America needs to immediately begin moving away from reliance on fossil
fuels and diversify its energy sources.
The board's chairman is retired Air Force General Charles Wald.
found that America's current energy posture constitutes a serious and
urgent threat to our national security. This is a threat that can and
will be exploited by those who wish to do us harm," he said.
Wald is one of a dozen former high-ranking military officers who unveiled the report during a news conference in Washington.
retired general says America's dependence on fossil fuels is
undermining the nation's economy and leaves the country vulnerable to
unstable or hostile regimes.
energy threat impacts our foreign policy. Our dependence on oil, not
just foreign oil, reduces our leverage internationally and sometimes
limits our options. I say all oil because we simply do not have enough
resources in this country to free us from the stranglehold of those who
do. We find ourselves entangled with unfriendly rulers and
undemocratic nations simply because we need their oil."
report says inefficient use of and over reliance on oil burdens the
U.S. military, reduces combat effectiveness and exacts a huge price tag
in dollars and lives.
Defense Department officials say the
Pentagon is the largest consumer of energy in the United States and
last year spent 20 billion dollars on petroleum products.
Officials say 70 percent of the U.S. military convoys in Afghanistan are carrying fuel and water.
report says enormous resources are used to protect such convoys as well
as shipping lanes around the oil-rich countries in the Persian Gulf.
General Wald says another major concern is the nation's aging power transmission network.
found that the fragile state of America's domestic electricity grid is,
in fact, a serious threat to our national security. Nearly all of our
stateside military installations depend on our domestic electricity
grid. When it fails, critical elements of our military and homeland
security systems can also fail and impact missions overseas," Wald said.
retired military officers called on the Defense Department to take a
leadership role in transforming America's energy policies.
They say the Pentagon can stimulate the market for new energy technologies and vehicle efficiencies.
Vice Admiral Dennis McGinn says a reduction in the use of fossil fuels
can slow global warming, which the retired military officers say is
also a threat to national security.
climate change will pose serious threats to water supplies and
agricultural production. At the same time we will see increasing
demand for the dwindling supply of fossil fuel. These factors mean an
intense competition for key resources and that leads to conflict," McGinn said, noting that the U.S. must prepare for such conflicts.
retired military officers say the destabilizing nature of scarce
resources and climate change are likely to increasingly drive U.S.
military missions for the rest of this century.