Oil sea routes map

Energy sources and related commodities have driven national security issues ever since the modern nation-state was born with the Peace of Westphalia. Oak made Spain and England’s stout sailing ships. Water energy and wind drove mills and moved water. Wood and coal moved steamships. Then came the almost magical commodity of oil, packed with energy. World War II… Keep reading →

The mission: defeat the enemy while preserving Uncle Sam’s pocketbook. Saving the Earth is a worthy, but secondary, objective.

The Department of Defense last week rolled out its plan to consume less, and find new ways to source, energy. The need has become particularly pressing as operations in Afghanistan and Iraq last year led U.S. forces to consume 5 billion gallons of fuel. The military’s insatiable thirst for energy puts troops in danger as they transport fuel through hostile territory – the Marines estimate one service member is killed for every 24 convoys. It also exposes the Pentagon budget to price shocks in volatile energy markets. Keep reading →