11 retired flag officers representing all four branches under the Department of Defense recently sent a letter to Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin outlining the critical need for the ongoing development and transportation of U.S. energy resources.
In the letter, the former senior military leaders encourage Secretary Austin to “leverage our nation’s abundant natural resources, including domestic oil and gas production and energy exports, to reassert the United States’ leadership on the global stage, strengthen our military capabilities, and further reduce our dependence on foreign suppliers and vulnerable global supply chains.”
The letter comes after the Biden Administration’s latest policies to limit American energy production and capabilities, such as blocking the construction of new energy infrastructure and banning oil and gas development on federal lands and waters. While the Administration has declared climate change an existential threat to national security, the officers argue these policies are “equally a threat to national security and military readiness” and that “Meeting our challenges tomorrow will be impossible if we forfeit America’s energy advantages today.”
Increased domestic oil and gas production has allowed the U.S. to reduce reliance on foreign energy sources, and “offset mounting threats from China, Russia, and other maligned nations while strengthening our international partnerships.”
The letter also points out the importance of traditional energy products in fueling the U.S. military, concluding:
The U.S. military is dependent on fossil fuels and the transition to alternative fuels – an essential, strategic initiative – cannot offset that reality in the near term. While our military steadily makes this transition, and, for example, leads the commercial market in lithium ion battery research and development, banning natural gas and oil leases on federal lands and dismantling our nation’s pipeline network will only risk our military capabilities and readiness, now and in the immediate future.