The United States’—and the Department of Defense’s (DoD)—dependence on fossil fuels poses a significant national-security threat, concludes Powering America’s Defense: Energy and the Risks to National Security
), the second report from CNA’s Military Advisory Board (MAB), a group of 12 retired three- and four-star admirals and generals. At the report’s launch this morning, several members of the MAB were joined by several of the people they are trying to influence, including Under Secretary of Defense for Acquisition, Technology, and Logistics Ashton Carter and Deputy Assistant Secretary of State for Energy, Sanctions, and Commodities Douglas Hengel.
Carter outlined some of the ways DoD is attempting to increase its energy efficiency, from insulating air-conditioned tents in Iraq with foam, which can lead to a 45 percent reduction in energy usage, to incorporating the fully burdened cost of fueling vehicles into the acquisitions process, to tripling the amount of spending on energy research and development over the past two years.
Hengel echoed the report’s emphasis on the interconnectedness of energy, climate change, and security, explaining that President Obama added the Secretary of Energy to the National Security Council for precisely this reason.
On May 28 at 3:00 p.m., ECSP will host a discussion of the report’s findings, featuring CNA General Counsel Sherri Goodman; General Charles Wald USAF (Ret.), chairman of the MAB; and Vice Admiral Dennis McGinn USN (Ret.), a member of the MAB. ECSP also hosted a discussion of the MAB’s previous report, National Security and the Threat of Climate Change.