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Energy and the National Defense

Energy and the National Defense

Howard Bucknell
Copyright Date: 1981
Pages: 256
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  • Book Info
    Energy and the National Defense
    Book Description:

    The Soviet invasion of Afghanistan and the war between Iran and Iraq underline the grim thesis of this book. Howard Bucknell argues that our dependence upon foreign oil poses an unequaled threat not only to our security as a nation but also to the fabric of our society. He issues a call for confronting this imminent crisis, for conservation and for the urgent development of new sources of energy.

    eISBN: 978-0-8131-6231-7
    Subjects: Political Science, Technology

Table of Contents

  1. Front Matter
    (pp. i-iv)
  2. Table of Contents
    (pp. v-vi)
  3. Foreword
    (pp. vii-x)
    Richard C. Snyder

    Howard Bucknell has set himself a formidable task: to provide, in brief compass, a more comprehensive framework for understanding and action with respect to this nation’s unprecedented energy situation and its attendant policy problems. The result we frequently call an exercise in policy analysis, but it is also an exemplar of synthesis—the effort to combine relevant factors so as to form a whole that is more than the sum of its parts.

    Energy and the National Defense,written in a style that is largely free of arcane words and phrases, gives us an overview of an extensive terrain: availability...

  4. Preface
    (pp. xi-xiv)
    Howard Bucknell III
  5. Acknowledgments
    (pp. xv-xx)
  6. 1 Energy and National Security
    (pp. 1-9)

    National security is at best an ambiguous phrase. It is often used by Congress, the president, the courts, or individuals and corporations to propose or to justify measures perhaps not otherwise supported by existing public perceptions. It is used only less loosely than the phrase “in the national interest,” which has a built-in attraction for the zealot, the scoundrel, and the patriot alike.

    Barring clear-cut violations of our national sovereignty, such as the attack on Pearl Harbor, there is a strong and doubtless justifiable tendency in our society to dismiss or rationalize most postulated security threats, however defined. Nevertheless there...

  7. 2 Energy Availability and the Supply/Demand Mechanism
    (pp. 10-26)

    To understand our energy dilemma in terms of national security we must understand clearly where we stand now as opposed to where we may arrive in the future. We must start with a discussion of the availability of oil and natural gas. We emphasize these two fuels because at the moment they provide three-quarters of all the roughly 38 million barrels of oil-equivalent consumed in this country, on the average, every day of the year. The remaining 9.5 million barrels of oil-equivalent per day are provided by coal, hydroelectric power, and uranium in nuclear reactors. For practical purposes, solar power,...

  8. 3 Alternatives to the Oil and Gas Economy
    (pp. 27-51)

    What alternatives to an oil and gas economy appear to be available in terms of feasibility in the near future—that is to say during the decade of the eighties?

    Any prospects of an increase in domestic oil and gas production, even in the short term, profoundly affect the prospects of any alternative energy strategy and fundamental questions of national security. Thus, to understand what may happen in the development of new energy resources it is necessary to recap the domestic oil and gas production situation. There is a school of thought in the petroleum industry, especially among the so-called...

  9. 4 The Economic Politics of Energy Transition
    (pp. 52-71)

    In an energy-dependent society when it becomes apparent that the energy sources which mainly sustain it are no longer reliably and economically available, one can expect attention to be given to the matter of shifting to other sources of energy provided the technological and political options to do so exist. Who is to be given the responsibility of making the necessary decisions? The question can arouse much economic as well as ideologic controversy. The answer may well be found in the political arena if the political structure is strong enough to withstand the strain. And if it is not? Well,...

  10. 5 Energy Ideologies
    (pp. 72-84)

    Not all of the ideological disputes that arise from our energy situation reflect the traditional liberal-versus-conservative argument. One cluster of disputes is directed at the reality of the energy crisis. Another concerns the nature of the changes that a prolonged shortage will bring—that is, will they increase the world’s misery or will they be at least partially beneficial? In taking sides on such questions organized interest groups, both within political parties and independent of them, influence energy policy making. In this process we find alliances between strange bedfellows amid the usual heterogeneity of the American ideological scene.

    Some apparently...

  11. 6 Energy Conservation, Economic Growth, and Jobs
    (pp. 85-106)

    It is the sense of the preceding chapters that during the next decade no single or combined alternative energy resource development can totally rescue us from substantial dependence on uncertain supplies of imported oil. Conservation of energy is therefore mandatory in a national security context. Our ability to conserve energy may be the key factor in avoiding war or in successfully prosecuting a war if it is forced upon us. Conservation, however, is another ambiguous term. As President Taft once put it, “A great many people are in favor of conservation no matter what it means.”

    Energy conservation can involve...

  12. 7 International Dimensions of the U.S. Energy Situation
    (pp. 107-123)

    Our domestic energy policy and our international policies touching upon energy are, as the reader will by now have suspected, inextricably intertwined. But the salient importance of the energy issue has only recently begun to intrude on the consciousness of the world’s statesmen. In 1975, then-Secretary of State Henry Kissinger pointed out: “... no issue is more basic to the future than the challenge of energy. The fundamental achievements of our economies, and the modern civilization they sustain, have been built upon the ready availability of energy at reasonable prices.”¹

    Kissinger went on to say that the energy crisis of...

  13. 8 Energy Wars and Alternatives
    (pp. 124-145)

    In the introductory chapter to this book we cited President Carter’s view of why the energy situation constituted a national security issue. Essentially Carter emphasized the increasing vulnerability of our economic and political independence as our oil imports rose.

    In this chapter we will examine the military and paramilitary aspects of the energy situation. In a broad context one view has already been outlined by Secretary of Defense Harold Brown:

    We are all familiar with the continuing risk of oil supply interruptions and upward pressures on prices from politically motivated embargoes such as we experienced four years ago. Much less...

  14. 9 Political Reactions to Energy Questions
    (pp. 146-187)

    In previous chapters the physical aspects of our energy situation have been outlined. We have discussed some of the politicoeconomic and ideological viewpoints that seem to be involved in our response to these factors. In this chapter we examine the responses that are a matter of record. This record is largely a history of legislative action or major executive action having the effect of legislation. Though politicians, including those in the Congress or occupying the presidency, may be damned by the public for faintheartedness, short-sightedness, cupidity, or all three, it must be acknowledged that in our sort of democracy the...

  15. 10 Conclusion
    (pp. 188-204)

    Our energy situation as it relates to national security is considerably starker than suggested by the major energy analyses published during 1979.¹ These studies—by the Harvard Business School, by the Ford Foundation Study Group, by Resources for the Future, and by government agencies—combine to indicate that through conservation and a gradual transition to renewable energy resources we can maintain our polity more or less in its present condition and that we can expect to emerge in the twenty-first century unscathed, productive, and energy-autonomous.

    These analyses tend to deal with energy in the aggregate and to ignore our inability...

  16. Notes
    (pp. 205-222)
  17. Bibliographical Essay
    (pp. 223-226)

    The most complete bibliography for this work is contained in the notes for the various chapters. The following comments are intended only to indicate some of the more important sources upon which I have drawn and to suggest useful introductions to the fields and problems discussed.

    Interdisciplinary studies are always difficult in America because of the rigid and jealously guarded departmentalized control of academic fields. Nevertheless, my experience of the last two years as chairman of the Energy and International Affairs Working Group at The Ohio State University has convinced me that interdisciplinary studies are the most appropriate way of...

  18. Index
    (pp. 227-235)