BY COLONEL HOPPER T. SMITH – United States Army
This PRP concludes that Fischer-Tropsch fuels (F-T fuels) offer the Department of Defense an alternative fuel that would lessen its vulnerability to imported petroleum, particularly as a source of JP 8 for the U.S. Air Force, and ensure its ability to project military power.
This PRP will establish that energy supply is a key national security issue. It will briefly describe the interconnected nature of U.S. energy vulnerability, with three distinct strategic dimensions, and will conclude with the most important part of the third strategic dimension – a secure supply of JP-8 for the U.S. Air Force. It devotes considerable attention to the deeper economic effects and international tensions caused by tight energy supplies, and how they impact U.S. national interests. It will suggest that establishing a near-term objective of producing 10% of the JP-8 for the top 10 Air Force bases within 5 years is a crucial and feasible step in supply security. This PRP will assert that a secure supply of synthetic JP-8 for the USAF mitigates the strategic vulnerability inherent to imported petroleum and enhances conditions regarding the other strategic imperatives – that by addressing one strategic dimension, the United States greatly improves conditions regarding the other two.