Advertisement

Journal of Transatlantic Studies

, Volume 10, Issue 4, pp 396–410 | Cite as

Culture, institutions and defence cuts: overcoming challenges in operational energy security

  • John R. DeniEmail author
Article

Abstract

Given the dramatic defence spending cuts occurring on both side of the Atlantic, the time would seem ripe for greater transatlantic cooperation in operational energy security — that is, the energy necessary to train for, deploy to, conduct, and redeploy from combat operations. However, with few exceptions, the prospects for greater cooperation in this area — in terms of common strategies, plans, doctrine, materiel and training, for example — appear quite low. Europe remains hobbled by institutional, organisational, and fiscal limitations, while the USA — largely for cultural reasons — struggles to overcome an episodic commitment to energy security.

Keywords

operational energy security allies strategy energy culture interoperability 

Preview

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

Notes

  1. 1.
    An average corps consists of roughly 35,000 troops, while a company consists of approximately 120. During the cold war, there was very little multi-nationality in Western military formations. Today, relatively small units of one ally, such as a company or a battalion, routinely serve under a larger unit of another ally.Google Scholar
  2. 2.
    This article will focus on operational energy security — that is, the energy necessary to train for, deploy to, conduct and redeploy from military operations. This article does not address in any significant way the energy necessary to sustain the US military while at home installations. Nevertheless, there is clearly some overlap here — for example, drone pilots may be based at home installations in the continental USA while piloting flight operations in Afghanistan several thousand miles away.Google Scholar
  3. 3.
    Michael Rühle, ‘NATO and Energy Security: From Philosophy to Implementation’, Journal of Transatlantic Studies 10, no. 4 (2012): 388–95.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  4. 4.
    For the sake of brevity, I limit the definition of ‘major European allies’ to these three.Google Scholar
  5. 5.
    Assistant Secretary of Defense Sharon Burke, briefing for reporters at the Department of Defense on the DoD Operational Energy Security Strategy, 14 June 2011: And while the department has long looked to improve on energy use in military facilities... it is new for the department to consider energy as a war fighting capability, something we can change for strategic advantage rather than just provide.Google Scholar
  6. 6.
    Ever earlier, President William Howard Taft designated the Elk Hills region as the country’s first Naval Petroleum Reserve in 1912, based on concerns over the long-term availability of petroleum for the US Navy.Google Scholar
  7. 7.
    Thomas W. Lippman, ‘The Day FDR Met Saudi Arabia’s Ibn Saud’, The Link 38, no. 2 (April-May 2005).Google Scholar
  8. 7a.
    See also, Charles F. Wald, et al., ‘Powering America’s Defense: Energy and the Risks to National Security’, Center for Naval Analysis, May 2009.Google Scholar
  9. 7b.
    President Franklin D. Roosevelt to the Lend-Lease Administrator (Mr Edward Stettinius) dated 18 February 1943, Foreign Relations of the United States, The Near East and Africa, vol. IV, Washington, DC: US Government Printing Office, 1943, 859.Google Scholar
  10. 8.
    Lippman, ‘The Day FDR Met Saudi Arabia’s Ibn Saud’.Google Scholar
  11. 9.
    US Department of Energy, The Early Days of Coal Research, available online, https://doi.org/fossil.energy.gov/aboutus/history/syntheticfuels_history.html. In 1948, with oil prices even higher than during the war, Congress extended the project to eight years and increased the available funding to $60 million.
  12. 10.
    William J. Angelo, ‘Another Hawaiian Treasure’, Engineering News-Record 235, no. 2 (July 1995), 24.Google Scholar
  13. 11.
    Blanche D. Coll, Jean E. Keith, and Herbert H. Rosenthal, United States Army in World War II — The Corps of Engineers: Troops and Equipment (Washington, DC: Office of the Chief of Military History, US Army, 1958), 417.Google Scholar
  14. 12.
    Defense Science Board, ‘Report on DoD Energy Strategy: “More Fight — Less Fuel”’, Office of the Under Secretary of Defense For Acquisition, Technology, and Logistics, February 2008, 7. The “Big Inch” pipeline carried crude oil from East Texas to refineries in the New York and Philadelphia regions, while the “Little Big Inch” pipeline carried refined petroleum products along the same route — both were built between 1942 and 1943.Google Scholar
  15. 13.
    Thomas J. Petty, ‘Fueling the Front Lines: Army Pipeline Units — Part I’, Engineer 37, no. 4 (Oct-Dec 2007): 32–8.Google Scholar
  16. 14.
    Ibid., 65.Google Scholar
  17. 15.
    Gregory J. Lengyel, Department of Defense Energy Strategy: Teaching and Old Dog New Tricks (Maxwell Air Force Base, AL: Air University Press, 2008), 48–9.Google Scholar
  18. 16.
    Defense Science Board, ‘Report on DoD Energy Strategy: “More Fight — Less Fuel”’, 7.Google Scholar
  19. 17.
    Department of the Army, Army Energy Plan, August 1981, 3–14.Google Scholar
  20. 18.
    Robert D. Hershey, ‘Blessing or Boondoggle? The $88 Billion Quest for Synthetic Fuels’, The New York Times, September 21, 1980, 1.Google Scholar
  21. 19.
    Irene Miller, ‘Synfuels and Defense’, The New York Times, October 3, 1980, 35. Liquid fuel from oil shale was seen as having higher hydrogen content than liquid fuel based on coal — the former was therefore a better fit for military vehicles.Google Scholar
  22. 19a.
    See also, Secretary of Defense Harold Brown, Testimony before the Ad Hoc Committee on Energy, US House of Representatives, May 4, 1977, from the Congressional Research Service report, The National Energy Plan: Options Under Assumptions of National Security Threat, April 1978, 28, 47.Google Scholar
  23. 20.
    Brown, Testimony before the Ad Hoc Committee on Energy, 45–6.Google Scholar
  24. 21.
    Energy Leadership Council, ‘Recommendations to the Nation on Reducing US Oil Dependence’, December 2006, https://doi.org/www.secureenergy.org/sites/default/files/147_Recommendations_to_the_Nation.pdf: ‘For more than two decades, federal energy policy has been afflicted by paralysis’. See also, Robert Orttung, Jeronim Perovic, and Andreas Wenger, ‘The Changing International Energy System and its Implications for Cooperation in International Politics’, in Robert Orttung, Jeronim Perovic, and Andreas Wenger, eds, Energy and the Transformation of International Relations: Toward a New Producer-Consumer Framework (Oxford: University Press, 2009), 3.Google Scholar
  25. 22.
    Joanne Omang, ‘The Synthetic Fuels Party has Gone Flat’, The Washington Post, February 7, 1982, A16. Subjects interviewed by Omang also cited the impact of high interest rates and the Reagan administration’s preference for private industry to shoulder entirely the burden of synthetic fuel investments.Google Scholar
  26. 23.
    Howard Bucknell, Energy and the National Defense (Lexington, KY: University Press of Kentucky, 1981), 190.Google Scholar
  27. 24.
    Ibid., 51.Google Scholar
  28. 25.
    Defense Science Board, More Capable Warfighting Through Reduced Fuel Burden, May 2001, 10–14, https://doi.org/www.acq.osd.mil/dsb/reports/ADA392666.pdfGoogle Scholar
  29. 26.
    Ibid., 69.Google Scholar
  30. 27.
    ‘Sustain the Mission Project: Casualty Factors for Fuel and Water Resupply Convoys’, Army Environmental Policy Institute, September 2009, https://doi.org/www.aepi.army.mil/docs/whatsnew/SMP_Casualty_Cost_Factors_Final1-09.pdf
  31. 28.
    One might argue that the nature of hybrid threats or asymmetric warfare might mean a more enduring emphasis on energy security this time around for the USA. However, the two operations that have caused Washington to most recently refocus on the issue — Operation Iraqi Freedom and Operation Enduring Freedom — are precisely the kinds of operations that the Defense Department sees itself not fighting in the future, according to the defence strategic guidance of January 2012 and FY13 defence budget request documentation.Google Scholar
  32. 29.
    Interview with a former Deputy Assistant Secretary of the Army, May 10, 2012.Google Scholar
  33. 30.
    See both the DoD Operational Energy Strategy and the DoD Operational Energy Strategy Implementation Plan, as well as comments by Sharon Burke, DOD News Briefing with Deputy Secretary Lynn and Assistant Secretary Burke from the Pentagon on the DOD Operational Energy Strategy, June 14, 2011, https://doi.org/www.defense.gov/transcripts/transcript.aspx?transcriptid =4840.Google Scholar
  34. 31.
    Elisabeth Rosenthal, ‘Military Orders Less Dependence on Fossil Fuels’, The New York Times, October 5, 2010, 1.Google Scholar
  35. 32.
    Kate Brannen, ‘BAE: Hybrid-Electric Design Will Pay Off In US Army GCV Program’, Defense News, July 26, 2010.Google Scholar
  36. 33.
    Steve Liewer, ‘Navy goes Green with New Hybrid Ship’, San Diego Union-Tribune, September 15, 2009.Google Scholar
  37. 34.
    Air Force Plans Biomass Facilities to Help Reach Energy Goals’, Air Force Facility Energy Center, 2010, https://doi.org/www.afcesa.af.mil/shared/media/document/AFD-120113-022. pdf
  38. 35.
    ‘DOE and US Department of Defense Announce Clean Energy Cooperation Agreement’, EERE Network News, July 28, 2010, https://doi.org/apps1.eere.energy.gov/news/news_detail.cfm/news_id=16193.
  39. 36.
    ‘USDA, Navy Sign Agreement to Encourage the Development, Use of Renewable Energy’, Navy Office of Information, January 21, 2010, https://doi.org/www.navy.mil/search/displayasp?story_id =50710.
  40. 37.
    See David E. Nye, Consuming Power: A Social History of American Energies (Cambridge, MA: MIT Press, 1998).Google Scholar
  41. 38.
    US Energy Information Administration, Total Primary Energy Consumption per Capita (Million BTUper Person), http://www.eia.gov.Google Scholar
  42. 39.
    See, for example, Peter J. Katzenstein, Cultural Norms and National Security (Ithaca, NY: Cornell University Press, 1996)Google Scholar
  43. 39a.
    Ted Hopf, ‘The Promise of Constructivism in International Relations Theory’, International Security, 23 (1), Summer 1998, 171–200CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  44. 39b.
    Elizabeth Kier, ‘Culture and Military Doctrine: France Between the ars’, International Security, 19 (4), Spring 1995, 65–93CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  45. 39c.
    John G. Ruggie, ‘The Past as Prologue? Interests, Identity, and American Foreign Policy’, International Security, 21 (4), Spring 1997, 89–125Google Scholar
  46. 39d.
    and Jeffrey S. Lantis, ‘Strategic Culture and National Security Policy’, International Studies Review 4, no. 3 (2002): 87–113.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  47. 40.
    Europe has also had consistently far higher taxes on fuel than the USA.Google Scholar
  48. 41.
    David E. Nye, ‘Path Insistence: Comparing European and American Attitudes toward Energy’, Journal of International Affairs 53, no. 1 (1999): 129–48.Google Scholar
  49. 42.
    Matthew Paterson and Michael Grubb, ‘The International Politics of Climate Change’, International Affairs 68, no. 2 (1992): 293–310. The most recent evidence of this played out during the US House of Representative’s debate on the FY13 Nation Defense Authorization Act (NDAA), when two Republican Congressmen from Texas offered an amendment to prevent DoD from spending any money on: the production or purchase of any alternative fuel if the cost of producing or purchasing the alternative fuel exceeds the cost of producing or purchasing a traditional fossil fuel that would be used for the same purpose as the alternative fuel.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  50. 43.
    Interview with a former Deputy Assistant Secretary of the Army, May 10, 2012.Google Scholar
  51. 44.
    Defense Science Board, ‘Report on DoD Energy Strategy: “More Fight — Less Fuel”’, 4.Google Scholar
  52. 45.
  53. 46.
    Defense Science Board, ‘More Capable Warfighting Through Reduced Fuel Burden’, 77.Google Scholar
  54. 47.
    Interview with a senior US Army field grade officer, April 19, 2012. Also, ‘Dempsey: New Energy Technologies Already Helping DoD’, US Fed News Service, Including US State News, Washington, DC, October 21, 2011. Finally, see, DoD Energy Security Task Force, Office of the Under Secretary of Defense (Acquisition, Technology, and Logistics), ‘Department of Defense Energy Security Initiatives’, The Weapon Systems Technology Information Analysis Center Quarterly 9, no. 1: (27 April 2009), 3: ‘the focus... is to reduce [energy] demand through culture change and increased efficiency’.Google Scholar
  55. 48.
    Interview with a former Deputy Assistant Secretary of the Army, May 10, 2012.Google Scholar
  56. 49.
    The USAF established its Energy Senior Focus Group in 2009 to oversee all energy management issues within the Air Force.Google Scholar
  57. 50.
    Annie Snider, ‘New Navy Postgrad Program Aims to Train “Energy Warriors”’, The New York Times, October 6, 2011. The US Navy describes ‘Energy Warriors’ as those Sailors and Marines who adopt an energy frugal mindset into every aspect of mission planning, training, and execution, and who leverage significant investments in energy efficiency and alternative energy to increase chances of mission success.Google Scholar
  58. 51.
    David B. Hunter and Nuno Lacasta, ‘Lessons Learned from the European Union’s Climate Policy’, Wisconsin International Law Journal, Fall 2009Google Scholar
  59. 51a.
    see also, Gernot Wagner, But Will the Planet Notice? How Smart Economics can Save the World (New York: Hill and Wang, 2011).Google Scholar
  60. 52.
    Interview with a senior German field grade officer, April 13, 2012. For example, the German Ministry of Defense’s ongoing — since 2006 — energy efficiency campaign, known as ‘Mission E’, was the result of an initiative by the energy agency of Germany’s most populous state, Nordrhein-Westfalen.Google Scholar
  61. 53.
    Interview with a senior German field grade officer, April 13, 2012.Google Scholar
  62. 54.
    Correspondence with a senior British field grade officer, May 14, 2012.Google Scholar
  63. 55.
    Interview with a senior French field grade officer, April 12, 2012.Google Scholar
  64. 56.
    Interview with a senior German field grade officer, April 13, 2012; Correspondence with personnel of the German Ministry of Defense, May 29, 2012.Google Scholar
  65. 57.
    Interview with a senior French field grade officer, April 12, 2012; Interview with a senior German field grade officer, April 13, 2012.Google Scholar
  66. 58.
    Graham T. Allison, Essence of Decision: Explaining the Cuban Missile Crisis (Boston: Little, Brown, 1971).Google Scholar
  67. 59.
    Interview with a senior German field grade officer, April 13, 2012.Google Scholar
  68. 60.
    ‘France to Slash Defense Spending’, Agence France-Presse, July 1, 2010; Nicola Clark, ‘Germany said to Cancel Billions in Military Plane Orders’, The New York Times, October 20, 2011Google Scholar
  69. 60a.
    Craig Whitlock, ‘Shrinking Defense Budgets Weaken NATO’, The Washington Post, January 30, 2012.Google Scholar
  70. 61.
    ‘Grim Picture for European Defense Spending’, United Press International, December 14, 2011.Google Scholar
  71. 62.
    US Army, Army Energy Security Implementation Strategy’, January 13, 2009, https://doi.org/www.asaie.army.mil/Public/Partnerships/doc/AESIS_13JAN09_Approved%204-03-09.pdf.
  72. 63.
    See, for example, US Navy, ‘Energy Program for Security and Independence’, October 2010, https://doi.org/greenfleet.dodlive.mil/files/2010/04/Naval_Energy_Strategic_Roadmap_100710. pdf
  73. 64.
    See, for example, the DoD Operational Energy Strategy Implementation Plan with regard to selling technologies to partner nations, 23. On a related point, although the DoD Operational Energy Security Strategy notes that, ‘partner nations may have lessons that can benefit US forces’, it does not direct DoD components to take any actions in this regard.Google Scholar
  74. 65.
    US Air Force, Air Force Energy Plan 2010’, https://doi.org/www.safie.hq.af.mil/shared/media/document/AFD-091208-027.pdf.
  75. 66.
    Interview with a senior field grade US officer, April 19, 2012; also, interview with a senior DoD civilian assigned to the US European Command, April 27, 2012.Google Scholar
  76. 67.
    Paul Newton, comments at the conference ‘The Future of US Grand Strategy in an Age of Austerity’, Strategic Studies Institute, Carlisle, PA, April 17, 2012, https://doi.org/www.youtube.com/watch?v=fgVHF655GYU&list=PLE8F71AD88882C4A4&index=3&feature=plpp_video.Google Scholar
  77. 68.
    Interview with a senior French field grade officer, April 12, 2012.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Board of Transatlantic Studies 2012

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Strategic Studies Institute, United States Army War CollegeCarlisleUSA

Personalised recommendations