Powering America’s Defense: Energy and the Risks to National Security

Powering America’s Defense: Energy and the Risks to National Security is a report by CNA's Military Advisory Board (MAB) that explores the impact of America's energy choices on our national security policies. This report follows the MAB's groundbreaking 2007 report National Security and the Threat of Climate Change, which found that "climate change, national security, and energy dependence are a related set of global challenges."

This new volume builds on that finding by considering: the security risks inherent in our current energy posture; energy choices the nation can make to enhance our national security; the impact of climate change on our energy choices and our national security; and the role the Department of Defense can play in the nation’s approach to energy security and climate change.


Throughout 2008, CNA's Military Advisory Board assessed America's energy posture and the potential threats it posed to our national security.

The Board and its study team received briefings from energy experts, representatives of the U.S. intelligence community, scientists, engineers, policymakers, senior military officers, business leaders, legislators and their staff, regulators, and non-profit leaders. They met extensively with representatives of the Department of Defense and the Department of Energy, and visited the National Renewable Energy Laboratory in Golden, Colorado to meet with senior scientists and engineers and receive briefings on the latest energy technologies.

Board members also presented their own views, based on experience, of the impact energy choices have on our national security and on battlespace effectiveness, and on the technical, fiscal and policy challenges that shape these choices.

The result of this year-long effort yielded Powering America’s Defense: Energy and the Risks to National Security drafted to better inform U.S. policymakers and the public about the impact of America's energy choices on our national security policies. The issues explored were considered solely for their impact on America's national security as viewed through the lens of the extensive military experience of the Military Advisory Board