In This Review

Energy and Security: Toward a New Foreign Policy Strategy
Energy and Security: Toward a New Foreign Policy Strategy
Edited by Jan H. Kalicki and David L. Goldwyn
Johns Hopkins University Press, 2005, 640 pp

The American economy -- like every modern economy -- depends on reliable sources of energy, especially oil, and U.S. oil imports, especially from the Persian Gulf, are expected to grow significantly in the next few decades. This book, by 36 participating authors, surveys the prospective world of oil and gas. It argues that the United States needs a coherent energy policy that is an integral part of U.S. foreign policy, just as national security (usually) is. The many authors offer different perspectives, sometimes even contradicting one another. There is general agreement, however, on two propositions. First, U.S. dependence on imported oil will continue for several decades, with growing reliance on the Persian Gulf likely. Second, the eventual reduction of that dependence will require systematic action on many fronts simultaneously: developing alternatives to petroleum-based fuels, developing natural gas, developing unconventional sources of oil and oil outside the Persian Gulf region, and encouraging worldwide conservation of energy generally and of oil in particular. Notably not discussed are the domestic politics of oil and the efforts of special interests to impede the adoption of a sensible national energy policy.