Fuel supply lines are perhaps the Achilles' heal of the world's most powerful military. It was in response to that reality and not anything touchy-feely green energy enthusiasm that was behind our military's interest in alternative energy. It's about national security. It's about saving lives.
Marine Corps Gazette: "Surging troops means surging supplies. Currently, â€œroughly one half of logistics tonnage . . . is solely the movement of fuel.â€4 Improvised explosive device (IED) attacks have doubled year after year since they were first used in Afghanistan, and their uptake continues to intensify. In July 2009 there were 828 IED attacks, up from 230 in July 2007.5 Today, 75 percent of allied casualties result from IEDs.6 This metric is even more significant when compared against the fact that 75 percent of all NATO supplies travel by road from the Pakistani port of Karachi via just two treacherous mountain passes (Khyber and Khojak) into Afghanistan.7 â€œFrom Karachi to Kabul there is trouble,â€ said Rahmanullah, a Pakistani truck driver. He added, â€œThe whole route is insecure.â€"
In addition to a tactical concern about oil truck conveys' there's a more broad strategic concern in terms of the military, like the US itself, being held hostage to foreign sources of oil.
In addition to tactical concerns about fuel security are concerns of direct impacts that greenhouse gas emissions pose to national security. All one need do is think in terms of the billion or so people living along coast lines being severely impacted by just one foot of sea level rise.Â The Pentagon's own study, National Security and the Threat of Climate Change, explores ways in which projected climate change is a "threat multiplier" in already fragile regions of the world at risk of becoming failed states and hence breeding grounds for extremism and terrorism.
Then again, there's reality and there are today's Republicans, and the two seem to be further apart by the day.
NPR:Â Senate Panel Reigns in Pentagon on Clean Energy: The moves by the Senate panel follow even tougher steps in the Republican-controlled House challenging the Pentagon's investment in clean energy. That version of the defense bill would bar the military from buying alternative fuels if the cost exceeds traditional fossil fuels. The bill also exempts the Pentagon from some requirements under the Energy Independence and Security Act of 2007, which is designed to increase production of clean renewable fuels.
It's not enough that carbon energy interests trump the well being of future generations? Carbon energy interests now must trump national security too?Â Is there no end to what must be sacrificed in the service of this addiction to fossil carbon energy?