By Siddhartha M. Velandy* –
In the midst of a shifting international order, the U.S. Department of Defense stands uniquely positioned to intensify global innovation in the energy arena. This Article describes the mechanics by which DoD can ignite a mutually-beneficial green energy “arms race.” In this role, the military reprises a historical function of driving technological advancement, combining its operational requirements and legislative prerogatives to grow investment and create consistent demand. The Article also discusses the legal and regulatory regimes that may be enlisted and exported through transgovernmental networks to spread the benefits of the use of alternative fuels and increased energy efficiency, the potential impact of the Green Arms Race on global climate change efforts, and the limits on the impact of greening the force in bringing about positive change. The Green Arms Race has the potential to succeed where existing international and unilateral efforts to encourage efficient energy innovation and address climate change have failed.
*Major, United States Marine Corps, LL.M, Harvard Law School, 2011.