Courtesy Reuters

Energy is a profoundly important aspect of U.S. national security and foreign policy: the availability of reliable, affordable energy is essential to economic strength at home, which is the foundation of U.S. leadership in the world. Scarce resources have driven both commerce and conflict since time immemorial -- and still do today. Energy supplies present strategic leverage and disposable income for countries that have them. The challenge of accessing affordable energy is shared by people and businesses in every country -- young democracies, emerging powers, and developing nations -- allies and adversaries alike. Disruptions in supply in one location can have global economic impacts. 

Energy shapes national interests and international relations. It influences politics, development, governance, and the security and stability of the environment. For all these reasons and more, increasing global access to secure, affordable, and clean energy is a national interest of the United States and

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  • TOM DONILON was National Security Advisor between 2010 and 2013. This article is adapted from a speech he gave on April 24, 2013 at the launch event for Columbia University’s Center on Global Energy Policy.
  • More By Tom Donilon