The most significant defense development of the past six months has been the meteoric rise and sudden fall of oil prices. When prices rose to over $150 per barrel, it seemed that measures as
extraordinary as applying nuclear power to large amphibious ships might be justified. It also appeared inevitable that a wide range of alternative energy programs would become viable. Internationally, high oil prices seemed to fuel Russian and Venezuelan ambitions. Whatever its intentions, the Iranian government looked like its oil resources were limitless. The U.S. economy appeared to be dragged down by the vast capital outflow associated with our national addiction to oil. Suggestions that high oil prices were a classic bubble were dismissed as naive.