May 1, 2008  

In this issue

With national gasoline prices predicted to pierce the four bucks per gallon mark this year — and diesel prices already past that threshold — most of us can relate per¬sonally to the pain of being oil dependent.

But Energy Information Administration projections warn that a far steeper cost may be around the corner. Unexpected supply disruptions in oil-producing nations could send costs even higher and potentially provide the catalyst for major conflict.

So when oil addiction shifts from per¬sonal habit to national crisis, should our fighting forces be fueled by the very stuff we might be fighting over? The question is addressed in this month’s cover package by Cmdr. Jeff Eggers and Maj. Danny Davis.

If oil shortages don’t scare you, then how about bots, zombies and masters that could reduce our networked, computerized weapon systems to dumb lumps of metal and plastic? Col. Charlie Williamson looks at the cyberspace threats and proposes that building fortresses, aka firewalls, is useless when the threat, like Homer’s wooden horse, is already within.

Clement Chen has further news about network warfare; it’s becoming biological. He explains the potential implications for the defense industry of that biological transformation.

Given the latest round of Capitol Hill theatrics and political grandstanding masquerading as Iraq hear¬ings, the perspectives by Ralph Peters and Capt. Robert Chamberlain are especially pertinent. The first article takes to task modern-day definitions of what it means to “win” a war; the second questions today’s conventional wisdom that insurgencies must be long-term affairs. Did someone say endpoint?