The following is a selected list of studies of various aspects of energy security (including peak oil) which have either been conducted by members of the military/security research community, or which raise issues with direct military/security relevance.
This list is by no means complete, nor does it include the growing body of literature on the military/security aspects of climate change. These research studies are listed chronologically, in descending order. The annotation “POc” at the end of some entries indicates that the study deals with the peaking of global oil production and views it as a credible near-term concern.
- Campbell, L. Cdr. Douglas, Running on Empty: How Peak Oil Will Influence the Future Viability of the Canadian Armed Forces, Master of Defence research project, Canadian Forces College, 2010, 85 pgs. POc
- Center for German Army Transformation, Group for Future Analysis, Peak Oil: Implications of Resource Scarcity on Security, July 2010, 99 pgs. POc
A review of this report is posted at Energy Bulletin here.
- Leckie, Maj. Cameron, Lasers or Longbows? A Paradox of Military Technology, Australian Defence Force Journal, No. 182, July 2010, p. 44- 56. POc
- Lovins, Amory, DOD’s Energy Challenge as Strategic Opportunity, Joint Force Quarterly, Issue 57, 2nd quarter 2010, p. 33- 42.
- Parthemore, Christine and John Nagl, Fueling the Future Force: Preparing the Department for a Post-Petroleum Era, Center for a New American Security, Sept. 2010, 29 pgs.
- Tettamanti, L.Cdr. Ryan, The Impact of Peak Oil on International Stability and Security, Master of Defence research project, Canadian Forces College, 26 April, 2010, 72 pgs. POc
- United States Joint Forces Command, The Joint Operating Environment 2010, Feb. 2010, 76 pgs.
This document reiterates the energy security concerns which were expressed in the 2008 JOE (ie. those concerns have not diminished) and includes a new text box on Peak Oil (pgs. 24-28). POc
- Chief of Force Development, The Future Security Environment 2008-2030, Part 1: Current and Emerging Trends, National Defence (Canada), 27 January 2009, 136 pgs. POc
- CNA, Powering America’s Defense: Energy and the Risks to National Security, May 2009, 60 pgs. POc
- Crane, Kevin et al., Imported Oil and U.S. National Security, RAND Corporation, May 2009 (127 pgs).
This page provides an introduction and the link to RAND’s study. A review of this study may be found here.
- Dunn, LCDR Halle, Oil Pirates of the Niger Delta, Master of Defence research project, Canadian Forces College, 2009, 115 pgs. POc
- Johnston, Peter, The Energy Security Impact of Oil Nationalization, DRDC CORA, October 2009, 32 pgs.
- Lachance, Lt. Col. Dan, Project Director, Projecting Power: Alternative Futures for Canada’s Air Force in the Year 2020, Department of National Defence Canada, 15 April 2009, 82 pgs. POc.
- Litvin, Daniel, Oil, Gas and International Insecurity: Tackling a Self-fuelling Fire, Chatham House, March 2009, 16 pgs.
This page provides an introduction and the link to Litvin’s study.
- Luft, Gal, Dependence on Middle East Energy and its Impact on Global Security, IAGS, 2009, 10 pgs.
- Maccoby, Nora, Energy Conversation: The First Three Years, CNA, 2009, 54 pgs.
This document provides summaries of the 31 “energy conversations” (March 2006 to Jan. 2009). As the link below indicates, the Energy Conversation series was initiated by the Pentagon’s Office of Force Transformation and supported by the Naval Postgraduate School.
- Marsh, Wing Commander R.E. (RAF), Global Energy Security and the Implications for the Exercise of Power and the Utility of Military Force for the United Kingdom, Master of Defence research project, Canadian Forces College, 2009, 128 pgs. POc
- Meinzinger, Lt. Col. A.D., Oil and Security: Implications for the Future, Master of Defence research project, Canadian Forces College, 15 May, 2009, 82 pgs. POc
- Scofield, Jeffrey P. (Major, USMC), Energy Security Through 2030: Some Considerations 2009, Marine Corps University, 2009, 39 pgs. POc
- Shaw, Max (Lt. Col.), Implications of Global Energy Security Concerns for the Canadian Forces: A Risk Management Approach, Canadian Forces College, 2009, 115 pgs. POc
- Stevens, Paul, Transit Troubles: Pipelines as a Source of Conflict, Chatham House Feb. 2009, 31 pgs.
This page provides an introduction and the link to Stevens’ study.
- Warner, J. and P.W. Singer, Fueling the Balance: A Defense Energy Strategy Primer, Foreign Policy at Brookings, Aug. 2009, 10 pgs.
- Wharton Aerospace & Defense Report, U.S. Military Hopes to be Energized by Alternative Fuels, University of Pennsylvania, Jan 2009, 4 pgs.
- Davis, Daniel (Major, US Army), Running on Empty, Armed Forces Journal, May 2008. POc
- Defense Science Board Task Force on DoD Energy Strategy, More Fight, Less Fuel, Feb. 2008, 121 pgs. POc
- Eggers, Jeffrey W. (Cdr, USN), The Fuel Gauge of National Security, Armed Forces Journal, May 2008, 7 pgs.
- Elhefnawy, Nader, The Impending Oil Shock, Survival: Global Politics and Strategy, April 2008, 31 pgs. POc
This excellent article now seems to be behind a paywall.
- Fisher, Brent, Review and Analysis of the Peak Oil Debate, Institute for Defense Analyses, August 2008, 50 pgs. POc
A review of this study may be found here.
- Jaffe, Amy Myers and Ronald Soligo, Militarization of Energy: Geopolitical Threats to the Global Energy System, James Baker III Institute for Public Policy, May 2008, 63 pgs.
- King, Neil Jr., Peak Oil: A Survey of Security Concerns, CNAS, July 2008, 16 pgs. POc
- Klare, Michael T., Rising Powers, Shrinking Planet: The New Geopolitics of Energy, Holt, 2008, 339 pgs. POc
- Lengyel, Gregory J. (Col., USAF), Department of Defense Energy Strategy: Teaching an Old Dog New Tricks, The Brookings Institution, Jan 2008, 70 pgs.
- Mitchell, John V. and Paul Stevens, Ending Dependence: Hard Choices for Oil-Exporting States, Chatham House, July 2008, 40 pgs.
Their assessment is stark: “Of the twelve countries in this study, oil production is in decline or at a plateau in three: Indonesia, Malaysia and Norway. In a further seven countries, the plateau will be reached around 2010. Saudi Arabia and Kazakhstan will reach a plateau before 2020” (p. 35). Please note also the startling bar-graphs (Fig. 5 & 6). This page provides an introduction and the link to this Chatham House study.
- Russell, James, Militarization of Energy Security, speech at James Baker Energy Forum, May 21, 2008, 12 pgs.
- Stelzer, Irwin, Energy Policy, Hudson Institute, Summer 2008, 22 pgs.
Stelzer states, “We need to move energy policy from the Department of Energy to the Pentagon so that policy is made as part of national security planning” (p. 17).
- Triola, Larry C., Energy Security: An Exploration of Threats, Solutions, and Alternative Futures, Naval Surface Warfare Centre, 2008, 84 pgs (47 pgs of text plus 37 slides). POc
- United States Joint Forces Command, The Joint Operating Environment 2008, Nov. 2008, 51 pgs. POc
The JOE 2008 contains some strongly worded concerns about the prognosis for future oil supply (pgs. 16-19)
- Wright, George G. (Col., U.S. Army), It’s Time for a National Energy Security Strategy, U.S. Army War College, March 2008, 30 pgs. POc
- Blackwell, Kristine E. (Lt. Col, USAF), Department of Defense and Energy Independence: Optimism Meets Reality, Air University, April 2007, 72 pgs. POc
Blackwell’s very thorough study includes a 16-page appendix of legislative activity as well as an extensive bibliography. Both warrant close examination and offer useful leads.
- Chesley, Gary D. (Lt-Col, USAF), America’s Energy Security Policy: Goals for 2025, U.S. Army War College, Feb 2007, 24 pgs. POc
- Czarnik, Joseph E. (Lt-Col, U.S. Army Reserve), U.S. Oil Dependency: the New Weapon of Mass Disruption, U.S. Army War College, March 2007, 18 pgs.
- Davis, Daniel (Maj. U.S. Army), On the Precipice: Energy Security and Economic Stability on the Edge, ASPO-USA, July 2007, 37 pgs. POc
This study provides a concise overview of the issues and offers practical suggestions for administrative responses.
- Holder, Todd J. (Major, USMC), Future Warfighting Paper: Oil and the Future of Marine Corps Aviation, Marine Corps University, 2007, 28 pgs. POc
- Juhasz, C. Don (Chief Utilities & Energy Programs, U.S. Army), Rules of Thumb slide presentation, 2007 POc
Please note slides 2-5.
- Leckie, Cameron (Maj., Australian Army), Peak Oil and the Australian Army, Australian Army Journal, Summer 2007, 17 pgs. POc
This study provides a concise summary of how peak oil may affect the military in terms of personnel, equipment, training and doctrine. (Editorial note: The original pdf has been removed. The article now links to a copy of it on the Oil Drum: Australia and New Zealand)
- McCaskill, John R. (Lt. Col, USMC Reserve), Energy Security: the Nexus of National Security Strategy and Energy Policy, U.S. Army War College, June 2007, 20 pgs. POc
- Russell, James, Regional Threats and Security Strategy: The Troubling Case of Today’s Middle East, Strategic Studies Institute, Nov. 2007, 46 pgs.
This page provides an introduction and the link to Russell’s study.
- Walsh, Shawn P. (Col, U.S.Army), Oil Vulnerabilities and United States Strategy, U.S. Army War College, Feb 2007, 23 pgs. POc
- Winstone, Ruth et al., Energy Security, UK House of Commons Library, May 2007, 38 pgs. POc
- Wissler, John B. (Col. USAF), Strategic Art and Energy: an Alternate Ends-Ways-Means View, U.S. Army War College, May 2007, 26 pgs. POc
- Fox, Dr. Liam (UK MP), Energy Security and Military Structures, Chatham House, May 2006, 14 pgs.
Dr. Fox calls for the establishment of an Energy Security Directorate within the UK government.
- Hornitschek, (Lt. Col, USAF), War Without Oil: A Catalyst For True Transformation, Air War College, Feb. 2006, 90 pgs. POc
- Nygren, Kip (Col, U.S. Army) et al., Army Energy Strategy for the End of Cheap Oil, West Point, 8 pgs, Nov 2006. POc
This DTIC page provides an abstract and the link to this West Point study.
- Scheuer, Michael et al., Saudi Arabian Oil Facilities: The Achilles Heel of the Western Economy, The Jamestown Foundation, May 2006, 47 pgs.
This page provides an introduction to Scheuer’s report.
- Tewkesbury, Dennis (Lt. Col., U.S. Army), Preemptive Energy Security: An Aggressive Strategy for Meeting America’s Requirements, U.S. Army War College, March 2006, 22 pgs. POc
- Amidon, John M. (Lt. Col., USAF), America’s Strategic Imperative: A “Manhattan Project” for Energy, Joint Force Quarterly, Issue 39, Aug. 2005, 10 pgs. POc
- Archambault, P.M., ed., Strategic Assessment 2005, DND Canada, Directorate of Strategic Analysis, Policy Planning Division, Nov 2005, 96 pgs. POc (Editorial note: This link now goes to a page that says this document is no longer on the server.)
- Clawson, Patrick and Simon Henderson, Reducing Vulnerability to Middle East Energy Shocks: A Key Element in Strengthening U.S. Energy Security, Washington Institute, Nov 2005, 39 pgs.
- Oil Shockwave: Oil Crisis Executive Simulation, Securing America’s Future Energy (SAFE) and National Commission on Energy Policy, June 2005, 24 pgs.
This top-level Washington exercise examined the potential effects of the sudden loss of 4% of global oil production. Participants included Robert Gates, James Woolsey and Gen. P.X. Kelley (USMC, Ret).
- Hearing before the Subcommittee on Energy and Air Quality of the Committee on Energy and Commerce, House of Representatives, Understanding the Peak Oil Theory, Dec. 7, 2005, 91 pgs. POc
- Stower, Maj. Jeffrey, USMC, Vulnerability of the United States’ Oil Supply to Terrorism, 2005, 47 pgs.
- Westervelt, Eileen, and Fournier, Donald “Energy Trends and their Implications for US Army Installations,” US Army Engineer Research & Development Center (ERDC), Sept. 05. 66 pgs. POc
- Klare, Michael T., Blood and Oil, Holt, 2004, 265 pgs. POc
- Klare, Michael T., Resource Wars, Holt, 2001, 289 pgs. POc
- Rickover, Hyman (Admiral, USN), Energy Resources and our Future, speech given on May 14, 1957 in St. Paul, Minnesota.
Considered to be “the father of the nuclear submarine”, Rickover was a far-sighted individual, as evidenced by this extract from his extraordinary speech:
But the most significant distinction between optimistic and pessimistic fuel reserve statistics is that the optimists generally speak of the immediate future – the next twenty-five years or so – while the pessimists think in terms of a century from now. A century or even two is a short span in the history of a great people. It seems sensible to me to take a long view, even if this involves facing unpleasant facts.”
Introduction here by Rep. Roscoe Bartlett which includes link to original text.
Two other military resources
- This bibliography is offered as an updated supplement to the excellent Pentagon and Peak Oil: a Military Literature Review which was compiled by Dr. Sohbet Karbuz in 2006.
- Special mention should also be made of Andy Bochman’s ongoing work at the DoD Energy Blog. His information is thoughtfully presented and thoroughly sourced.
Appendix: Two non-military studies
The authors of the following two studies are not from the military/security research community. However, both studies are so fundamental to the oil-supply issue that they would surely be included in any thorough analysis of future oil supply. They are therefore appended to this bibliography.
1. International Energy Agency, World Energy Outlook 2008.
This WEO, marks a significant departure from the IEA’s traditional confidence in future oil supply. Its opening sentences state, “The world’s energy system is at a crossroads. Current global trends in energy supply and consumption are patently unsustainable….” It then warns of “dwindling resources in most parts of the world and accelerating decline rates everywhere (p. 3)”. The WEO calls for “an energy revolution” and concludes, “Time is running out and the time to act is now” (Executive Summary, p. 15). This sudden change in tone is confirmed by subsequent verbal statements made by IEA Chief Economist Fatih Birol. In a videotaped interview with George Monbiot, Birol states, “The reason we are asking for a global energy revolution is to prepare everybody for difficult days and difficult times. I think we should be very careful….”
This interview is available here.
Despite this recent tone of concern and the evidence which the WEO presents, the IEA still seems very reluctant to state that the peaking of global oil production (whatever combination of factors “cause” the constriction) will present some very serious challenges, that effective mitigation will require decades of intensive & cooperative effort, and that that the world appears to be quite unprepared for this event. These three points are cornerstones of the Hirsch Report (below). The complete WEO is 578 pgs and must be purchased. The Executive Summary (15 pgs) is available here.
2. Hirsch, Robert et al., Peaking of World Oil Production: Impact, Mitigation and Risk Management, SAIC, Feb 2005, 91 pgs. POc
Dr. Hirsch’s landmark study is perhaps the most central document to the peak oil debate. This wiki provides a detailed introduction and links to both Hirsch’s summary and to the complete Hirsch Report.