Flag Officers Make National Security Case Against US Oil Dependence

Brigadier General Stephen CheneyBrigadier General Stephen Cheney

Six retired generals — two each from the Army, Air Force and Marine Corps — and one retired admiral signed an open letter to Congress, arguing that US dependence on oil weakens the country's international leverage and undermines its foreign policy.

Brigadier General Stephen Cheney is one of the authors of the letter. The retired marine is now CEO of the American Security Project, a bipartisan public policy group based in Washington, DC.

"Our dependence on oil is driving our national security apparatus to protect oil throughout the world, and as a consequence, it's a huge vulnerability both to us and the general public. In other words, if we weren't so dependent on Middle East oil, we probably wouldn't be there."

Cheney hails the administration's decision to raise fuel economy standards to 54.5 miles per gallon by 2025 as a step in the right direction. He also supports calls for greater oil production in the US, but says the integrated nature of the global oil market means ramping up domestic production will do little to reduce American vulnerability to oil shocks.

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