Friday, May 4, 2012
I know this bill isn't going to magically fix our foreign policy problems. I know they're complicated, and I know that it will probably be decades before we can extricate ourselves from the Middle East or see critical political and economic reforms happen that will stabilize the region.
But I do believe that if we can introduce competition at the pump, it will not only help us but it will also pressure the governments of the region to diversify their economies and in the process hopefully broaden economic opportunity and the political representation that comes with it. Less reliance on them will reduce tensions and enable a more flexible national security posture, providing more space for diplomacy and peaceful conflict resolution.
This legislation is not a guarantee against future conflicts but it's a much-needed step to address the systemic tension and instability that has become a conflict driver in the region. I sincerely believe that we owe it to our troops to get it passed.
Thomas J. Buonomo is a former Military Intelligence Officer and an Energy Policy Advocate for the Open Fuel Standard Coalition. He holds a Bachelor of Science in Political Science and Middle East Studies from the U.S. Air Force Academy and has spent the past six years researching U.S. energy policy toward the Middle East.