by Aaron Moran
Next year we’ll celebrate the 70th anniversary of the end of World War II. There have been several major wars in the intervening decades – Korea, Vietnam, Afghanistan and Iraq – and countless smaller conflicts, but, thankfully, none of that monstrous magnitude.
It is deeply disturbing to me, as a young man who served as a Marine in Iraq, to be suddenly hearing talk of a possible World War III arising from the spiraling violence in the Middle East. What makes this talk so unsettling is its plausibility, and the knowledge that such a disastrous global struggle could have been averted if American leaders had pursued wiser policies.
What, after all, has made the Middle East a geostrategic focal point for so long but its possession of vast reserves of the oil we and our allies need to sustain our economies?
If there were any adequate alternative sources of this precious fuel, we would have to be mad not to take advantage of them. And yet, there are.
The magnitude of proven oil reserves in America and the reluctance of our leaders to do everything possible to develop them are facts that will remain in the forefront of veterans’ minds. I have recently become involved in this cause, as I feel it is essential to the safety and security of our nation.
We expect leaders who insist on national energy security and refuse to jeopardize the lives of our military men and women in defense of access to unstable and unreliable foreign sources of oil.
We expect leaders committed to developing our own abundant reserves of fossil fuels and tapping all other practical domestic energy options.
We expect leaders who support new technologies that increase domestic energy production and oppose arbitrary regulations that inhibit it.
Our Defense Department uses more than 100 million barrels of oil per year. That supply is critical to the security of our nation and the preservation of freedom in this world.
As the new Congress opens and takes up our national energy policy, veterans across this nation will be watching closely to ensure they pursue stronger energy security by growing our energy independence.
Aaron Moran is the Oregon chair of Vets4Energy. He served with the U.S. Marines from 1999 to 2003 and studied at Metropolitan State College of Denver. He now lives and works in Portland, Oregon.