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The Future of American Power: Energy and National Security

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Technical Report

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Air War College Air University Maxwell AFB United States

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Energy stands to be center stage in future political discussions not only in terms of economic growth within the United States, but in its relevance to National Security. Increasing living standards, growing populations, environmental politics and economic growth are all exerting pressure on the worlds energy supplies. The continued reliance on imported fossil fuels presents significant economic, political, military and strategic challenges to the United States. The purchase of energy sources from outside the United States is typically not a problem. However, we are buying these energy sources from unfriendly and unstable parts of the world. The United States is also facing a challenge to its global leadership. The absence of the United States has not stopped the momentum internationally towards global environmental agreements and the US risks being left behind. Finally, the United States expends significant levels of human, political and monetary capital to ensure access to foreign sources of energy. The question to the American people and its leadership is does this make sense when we have other options While most of the world relies upon fossil fuels, renewable energy sources are becoming more available. Nations such as China, previously energy independent, are now net importers of fossil fuels simply to sustain their level of economic growth. The need to import energy resources has led these countries to take a more active role in global economics and politics

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