The further to the left or the right you move, the more your lens on life distorts.

Wednesday, February 01, 2006

WoT = WaO

In last night’s State of the Union address, President Bush argued that American’s must go into detox and rid ourselves of our “addiction” to oil. He is absolutely correct, but his past policies, and the policies of every administration in my lifetime, belie his words.

Our dependence on oil is a significant national security issue. An editiorial in the New York Times correctly notes:

American overdependence on oil has been a disaster for our foreign policy. It weakens the nation's international leverage and empowers exactly the wrong countries. Last night Mr. Bush told the people that "the nations of the world must not permit the Iranian regime to gain nuclear weapons," but he did not explain how that will happen when those same nations are so dependent on Tehran's oil. Iran ranks second in oil reserves only to Saudi Arabia, where members of the elite help finance Osama bin Laden and his ilk, and where the United States finds it has little power to stop them.

Stated another way, the war on terror (WoT) is equivalent to a domestic War against Oil (WaO).

WoT = WaO

If we win the WaO, we'll have a higher likelihood of prevailing in the WoT.

As a nation we have the technology, the expertise, and the capacity to wean ourselves from foreign oil imports within 10 years (not the 20 years the President suggests). What we seem to lack is the political will and the fortitude to suffer short-term pain (higher prices, smaller vehicles) for long term independence and security.

I only hope that the current administration pursues the WaO with the same steadfastness that they prosecute the WoT. We’ll see.