Skip to main content
A Good Battery Is the Best Defense Against a Military Assault
A general view of the USS Makin Island in Victoria Harbour. 20AUG14 (Photo by Nora Tam/South China Morning Post via Getty Images)
(Photo by Nora Tam/South China Morning Post via Getty Images)

A Good Battery Is the Best Defense Against a Military Assault

Arthur Herman & Nadia Schadlow

The massive push toward electric vehicles presents risks and opportunities for America’s military. As adversaries make it harder for U.S. forces to reach and operate across long distances, the energy provided by advanced batteries can help the Pentagon achieve its multiple missions. This requires a secure innovation and production base for advanced battery technology, something the U.S. doesn’t have at the moment.

In 2008 Congress directed the Pentagon to create an office for “operational energy” to address the use of energy on the battlefield. The priority then was to reduce the Defense Department’s huge energy bills of around $20 billion a year. During one five-year period at the height of the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, more than 3,000 American soldiers and contractors were killed in fuel-supply convoys. As Marine Gen. Jim Amos observed, the Marine Corps’ “thirst for liquid fuel” came at a heavy price.

In recent years, the Defense Department has revived its focus on operational energy to explore how new sources—especially batteries—can improve the military’s ability to sustain its platforms, weapon systems and soldiers in the field. Air Force Lt. Gen. Clinton Hinote recently observed that energy was still a “primary limiter to the types of operations that we’re able to do.”

Read the full article in the Wall Street Journal

Related Articles

Build a Fleet that Contests Every Inch

Bryan Clark

China’s coast guard and maritime militia have mounted what essentially is an insurgency in the East and South China Seas for nearly 15 years, buildi...

Continue Reading

The Significance of China’s Fujian Aircraft Carrier

Patrick M. Cronin

Eighty years after aircraft carriers became the capital ship of great seafaring nations, China's third carrier is making waves. Fujian, named for the ...

Continue Reading

Defending Guam

Rebeccah L. Heinrichs et al.

Guam, “where America’s day begins,” constitutes an indispensable strategic hub for the United States. The largest of the Mariana Islands in the ...

Continue Reading