In 2008, the Defense Science Board warned that vital U.S. military installations were too dependent on a fragile commercial power grid, and that backup plans in the event of a prolonged outage were inadequate. Today, ten years later, nothing much has changed — except perhaps that cyber threats to the grid have increased. The military still gets 99% of its electricity from commercial utilities “outside the fence” that have little incentive to invest in greater resilience, and its backup diesel generators can only keep the lights on for a few days in a prolonged outage before additional fuel stocks will be required. Anything like the aftermath of the hurricane in Puerto Rico could shut the whole system down, with potentially devastating consequences for the nation’s security. I have written a commentary for Forbes here.
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