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 James Woolsey

Former CIA Director James Woolsey

Woolsey Says Oil The Weakest Link in America's Armor

January 22, 2010

Tags: Faculty & Scholarship, 2010

Former CIA Director James Woolsey pointed to foreign oil as the Achilles Heel in America's War on Terror in a speech on January 21, 2010, at Pacific McGeorge and urged all political leaders to move quickly to eliminate the strategic role of oil by curbing that dependence.

"We have a serious problem," Woolsey said.  "The next time you pull into a gas station, take a look in the rearview mirror - you're the one who's paying for the indoctrination of children as suicide bombers."

In his talk, "Spies, Energy, and the New World of the 21st Century," Woolsey outlined the CIA's Cold War success in toppling the Soviet Union, but said the West's new enemies are more dangerous. "We slay the dragon, but found ourselves in a jungle full of venomous snakes," he said. "In a distortion of one of the world's great religions by a small minority of Muslims, Al Qaida and its religious extremism of Wahabism have become our mortal enemies. I'm not optimistic we can defeat them unless we take the economic power of oil away from them."

Woolsey's appearance, which was sponsored by the Sacramento Chapter of the World Affairs Council and the McGeorge International law Society, drew a large audience to the Gordon D. Schaber Law Library. Woolsey, who served in a variety of roles in the administrations of Presidents Jimmy Carter, Ronald Reagan, George H.W. Bush and Bill Clinton, is a member of the Washington Institute for Near East Policy Board of Advisors and an advisor of the Institute for the Analysis of Global Security.