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On the precipice: Energy security and economic stability on the edge

Preface to a 37-page report, posted in full here (PDF)

I am a Major in the United States Army. When looking at this report for the first time, one may legitimately ask why an Army officer is writing about energy issues.

The genesis for this project began many months ago when I was conducting research for a project related to the development of the future force in the US Army. I believed it was important to include an effective assessment of what the world might look like in the year the force was projected to complete its initial fielding (2030).

So I set out to discover what some of the best minds in the world had to say about what the world might look like 20-plus years from now. Specifically, I intended to examine population growth, food production, water availability, and energy supplies.

What I discovered shocked me.

Just under the radar of general public visibility a campaign has been waged for the past five or six years by geologists, scientists, economists, and former oil company executives to educate and inform all who would listen concerning serious supply issues related to the world's primary energy source: crude oil. Like most people, I had never heard of the term "peak oil" before 2003, and had not given any thought to the possibility of what might happen if the supply of oil were to plateau and subsequently decline. After reading literally hundreds of sources on the subject and interviewing some of the key figures in the field, my eyes were indeed opened.

Amply supplied with significant amounts of research material, I felt an obligation to put pen to paper and write a report on the subject. The American public must first be made aware of the scale of this encroaching problem; it will then become apparent that significant Government action is required.

The ultimate objective of this report is to encourage the United States Government to immediately initiate a series of detailed studies to ascertain the true nature of the threat posed by the peaking of world oil production, and to begin now building the foundation for action that will be necessary the inevitable day the peak occurs. As pointed out by several leading authorities, the lead time for meaningful mitigating action is measured in decades. It is critical, therefore, that action begin now.

Finally - but critically - I wish to express my sincerest thanks Dr. Colin Campbell who took significant time on many occasions to explain a number of issues to me, and to ASPO-USA co-founder Steve Andrews for publishing this study as a Special Report. Without Dr. Campbell's help and Mr. Andrew's willingness to publish an obscure Army officer's work, this report would never have seen the light of day.

To read the full report, click here. (37-page PDF).

(Note: Commentaries do not necessarily represent ASPO-USA's positions; they are personal statements and observations by informed commentators.)

Editorial Notes: From the report ("About the Author"): Daniel L. Davis is a Major in the United States Army, currently serving in a Cavalry unit. He has served over 20 years in the Armed Forces, including time as an enlisted Soldier, in the US Army Reserves, and currently as a Regular Army officer. He fought with the 2nd US Cavalry Regiment in Desert Storm in 1991, and served on the staff of Combined Forces Command-Afghanistan and at Central Command in 2005 (in Kabul, Afghanistan; Tampa, Florida; and Camp As Sayliyah, Qatar). In 1997-98 he served as a Foreign Affairs and Military Aide for Senator Kay Bailey Hutchison. During his military career Major Davis has served in the US, Afghanistan, Iraq, Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, Qatar, Germany, and South Korea. He has been published in the International Herald Tribune, The New York Times, The Washington Times, Defense News, Dallas Morning News, the Army Times, the Air Force Times, the Taipei Times, and the Korea Herald Tribune. He was awarded an MA in International Relations from Troy University.

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