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Energy Security – America’s Best Defense

A study of increasing dependence on fossil fuels in wartime, and its contribution to ever higher casualty rates


Increasing mechanization of technologies, expeditionary nature of conflict requiring mobility over long distances, rugged terrain, and irregular nature of operations have resulted in an average annual fuel consumption increase of 2.6 percent during wartime over the last 40 years. To supply this extra fuel, there must be an increase in the number of convoys, which in turn increases the risk of casualties.

"Energy Security – America’s Best Defense," the latest report from Deloitte LLP, addresses the urgent need for America’s military to become more energy secure and provides recommendations on how the Department of Defense can proceed. According to this survey, U.S. soldiers' average daily fuel consumption has increased 175 percent since the Vietnam conflict. In addition, the study found that the ongoing Afghan conflict may result in a 124-percent increase in U.S. casualties through 2014, should the war be prosecuted without any game-changing shifts.

“It is clear that our dependence on oil and other fossil fuels puts our fighting men and women at risk,” said Tom Captain, vice chairman and Global and U.S. Aerospace & Defense (A&D) leader, Deloitte LLP, and a co-author of the report. “We need to find ways to incorporate renewable energy sources to improve conservation and develop new fuels so that our soldiers are as safe as possible.”

“If the military can reduce its dependence on fossil fuels, it will help solve the strategic vulnerability that results from having such an oil-intense force,” said General Charles Wald (USAF Ret), director and leader of Deloitte's Department of Defense Practice, Federal Government Services, and co-author of the study. “Many people in various sectors of the economy are realizing that energy efficiency, conservation and the use of alternative fuels are not just good for the environment, but good for business as well. In this case, it’s the business of protecting American lives.”

Download the report above, to learn ways for the military to reduce its dependence on fossil fuels.

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