U.S. Military Sacrifices Readiness for 'Global Warming'

Brandon J. Weichert23 Jan, 2024 2 Min Read
That worked out well.

On Earth Day in 2022, President Biden announced that the U.S. is determined to make American military vehicles "climate friendly." Quoth he: "Every vehicle. I mean it. We're spending billions of dollars to do it." Today, the United States military owns the largest organizational fleet of vehicles in the country, and one of the largest in the world.

Thus the Pentagon has been tasked with investing in electric vehicles that are combat-ready. In order to be made so, these electric vehicles will have to be outfitted with larger batteries that would allow them to travel farther in hostile territory without needing to recharge. Yet placing heavier batteries on electric combat equipment would make those vehicles slower. It would become harder for those vehicles to operate, especially compared to their fossil fuel alternatives, and it would fundamentally damage America's combat effectiveness. American troops would be placed in greater danger because they were being made to depend on inherently unreliable equipment when compared with the gas-powered vehicles their adversaries would undoubtedly be using against them.

At the moment, the United States lacks the ability to reliably refuel electric combat vehicles. While space-based solar power is something that the military is investigating as a possible energy source for any "environmentally friendly" combat vehicle, most experts believe that space-based solar power cannot be used as a total replacement for conventional energy production. Besides, the Biden administration is not seriously looking at space-based solar power for military purposes. They are devoted to standard notions of alternative energy such as terrestrial solar and wind power that have a proven track record of inefficiency and intermittency.

Then there are the supply chain concerns that come with Green energy. Electric vehicles would require more rare earth minerals than conventional combat vehicles and equipment do. Today, China controls most of the world's rare earth mineral mines. Whether it be the construction of solar panels and other green energy equipment, or the production of batteries, China has its foot on the throat of most of the world's supply chain for these technologies.

And what of the cost of such a Green transition? At a time when the military is already having trouble meeting its growing obligations with increasingly constrained budgets, Biden would force the Pentagon to blow through its funding to replace perfectly reliable gas-powered vehicles and equipment with far less dependable environmentally friendly machines. Not only are these "climate friendly"  systems less efficient but also costlier to purchase, produce, and maintain. Over time, a larger share of the Pentagon's budget would go toward these "sustainable" combat vehicles and away from combat readiness.

The White House, however, is driven by domestic political concerns, such as keeping its environmentalist base happy, than it is by  national security concerns. Forcing a transition away from dependable, affordable gas-powered military equipment toward unproven and undependable replacements is a sure way to sacrifice America's military advantages for no military benefit. And as the world gets more dangerous the last thing America needs is for the military to be weakened just to appease the ecochondriacs among us.

Brandon J. Weichert is a former Congressional staffer and geopolitical analyst. He is a Defense & National Security Reporter at the National Interest. In 2023, Weichert had a syndicated column at MSN. His writings have appeared at The Washington Times, Asia Times, The American Spectator, American Greatness, and 19FortyFive.com. He is the author of Winning Space: How America Remains a Superpower (Republic Book Publishers), Biohacked: China’s Race to Control Life (Encounter Books), and The Shadow War: Iran’s Quest for Supremacy (Republic Book Publishers). His fourth book, A Disaster of Our Own Making: How the West Lost Ukraine is due out October 22, 2024, from Encounter Books. He can be followed via Twitter @WeTheBrandon.


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