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CNA Military Advisory Board
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Why Experience Matters

This study examines the national security implications of a transition away from conventional petroleum-based fuels in the U.S. transportation sector.

Our national security focus is based primarily on our experiences as senior military leaders and offers per- spectives that differ from traditional energy analysis. We consider geopolitical, economic and environmental aspects of energy as a matter of course, but view the full suite of issues through a security prism honed in military operations.

Collectively, we bring to this work over 400 years of military experience. As a result, the findings, recommendations, and opinions we proffer are grounded in that collective experience. It is what makes this report different from more traditional research reports. However, we have not arrived at our conclusions without substantial analysis, dialogue, and deliberation.

Over the course of our research, we balanced and broadened our perspectives through robust meetings with renowned experts from academia, think tanks, policy makers, senior members of the current and former administrations, and industry. Throughout our research, we have worked closely with the CNA analysts to understand fully the geopolitical implications of oil and alternative fuels, and drew heavily on their synthesis of the existing work on alternative fuels and their futures.

It is through this iterative, vigorous, and participatory process that we reached the consensus of views and collective opinions presented in this report.

The specific questions we address in this report are:

  • How does America’s transportation sector dependence on oil affect our geopolitical, economic, environmental, and security landscape?
  • What are the strategic implications of the United States moving away from oil as a transportation fuel?
  • What are the potential positive and negative im- pacts that will emerge under large scale adoption of various alternative fuels or combinations of fuels?
  • What policies should the United States consid- er to ensure that our national transportation fuel transition enhances America’s energy, economic, climate and national security?
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  • Pages: 64
  • Document Number:
  • Publication Date: 6/6/2011