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Fossil Fuel Use: An “Urgent” National Security Threat


A dozen retired senior military officers have come out with a report calling the way we use energy an “urgent” national security threat to the U.S. In a long report, these former officers detail how long, vulnerable fuel supply lines have hobbled troops in Iraq and Afghanistan; how each soldier in Afghanistan is weighed down by 26 pounds of batteries; and how just 10% of the fuel used in Iraq goes for actual fighting vehicles — the rest just gets the fuel to the battlefield and protects it.

These dozen retired generals and admirals call on the Pentagon to take the lead in finding and scaling up an alternative to fossil fuels as a national security imperative.

Their conclusions are reached by an Alexandria, Va., think tank called CNA, which runs a body called the Military Advisory Board.

I talked to a couple of the report’s co-authors. One of them, retired Air Force Lt. Gen. Larry Farrell, noted that the military has already led the way in the past in developing the Internet; it’s also done so with cultural change, such as integration. In case any lifestyle change is necessary because of an alternative fuel, “people will see that if it works for the military, it will work for a lot of other things as well,” Farrell said.

Two years ago, the board declared climate change a national security threat. This is a follow-on report.

Over at Solve Climate, Bill Becker sees the report as “the cavalry (and the Navy, Air Force and Marines) coming to the aid of a green army that is vastly outnumbered and out-funded by the oil and coal lobbyists on Capitol Hill.”

Source: Steve LeVine, BusinessWeek


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