The Best Defense

Rainbow warriors?: Some Navy warplanes will go green for a day

The Navy is going to celebrate Earth Day by having some of its F-18s burn biofuels. I know this is a good thing (the U.S. military consumes an enormous amount of fuels, I think accounting for about 1.5 percent of total U.S. oil consumption) but it still seems odd to me to have warplanes going green.

As the article points out, fuel sources have huge implications for military forces, with Navy ships moving from coal to oil to nuclear propulsion. Indeed, I remember reading that the switch from coal to oil even changed the structure of the British Empire, as "coaling stations" were no longer needed. 

LEE JIN-MAN/AFP/Getty Images

The Best Defense

Fukuyama sees Iran as a tactical challenge, China as the strategic one

I think that is what he is saying. Francis Fukuyama, one of my favorite big thinkers, is ending his history at Johns Hopkins SAIS and heading back to California. In the new issue of the SAIS newsletter, he is asked about the top foreign policy challenge today. This is his response:

My list isn't different from anyone else's. You have these big issues with Pakistan, Afghanistan, Iran -- and then China. I have believed for some time that the much more difficult problem to deal with in the long run is going to be China. We have allowed ourselves to get sucked into these wars in the Middle East, but all the while the Chinese are charging ahead. I think in time we are going to realize that's the bigger problem."    

ERIC FEFERBERG/AFP/Getty Images