Wednesday, September 3, 2008

Marines Know the Link Between Energy and Mission

Journalist and author Tom Friedman turns his sights on energy in his upcoming book, and Wired Magazine has a short intro piece on it. I particularly like this anecdote, featuring:
a Marine Corps general in Iraq who requested solar panels to power his bases. Asked why, he explained that he wanted to win his region by "out-greening al Qaeda." Instead of trucking in gas from Kuwait at $20 a gallon — money that fuels oppressive petro-dictatorships — in convoys that are vulnerable to roadside bombs, why not beat the insurgents by taking away their targets and their funding?
Reminded me of another USMC general,  Gen James T. Mattis, cited in the Defense Science Board's energy report released earlier this year, as saying: 
"Unleash us from the tether of fuel"
While the Air Force is often seen as out in front for DOD on several new energy initiatives, clearly they have no monopoly on good ideas or on passion for improving current conditions. The Marines, by far the most mobile ground force, care big time about the effects of fuel on their troops and their operations.

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