Candor is not President Bush's strong suit, but let's give him credit where credit is due. In an interview aired on Danish television Thursday night, Bush explained his opposition to the Kyoto Protocol by noting America's dependence on petroleum. "We're hooked on oil from the Middle East, which is a national security problem and an economic security problem," he said.
The oil-security nexus is something that Dan Caldwell and I deal with in our forthcoming book, Seeking Security in an Insecure World. Although the dependence of the United States on oil imports from the Middle East is no secret, it is highly unusual for President Bush--or any member of his administration--to draw attention to it. Even more unusual (and perhaps even unprecedented) was Bush's characterization of our petroleum dependence as "a national security problem." He's absolutely right about that.