Climate change a ‘significant risk’ to US military: security officials

Climate change a ‘significant risk’ to US military: security officials

The group warns that climate change will increasingly inundate military bases, potentially effecting 10 percent of installations, and fuel resource insecurity leading to conflict and mass migration.

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The group warns that climate change will increasingly inundate military bases, potentially effecting 10 percent of installations, and fuel resource insecurity leading to conflict and mass migration.

WASHINGTON (Talk Media News) – A bipartisan group of 25 national security and military leaders have warned that “the effects of climate change present a strategically-significant risk to U.S. national security.”

“There are few easy answers, but one thing is clear: the current trajectory of climatic change presents a strategically-significant risk to U.S. national security, and inaction is not a viable option,” the coalition said in a letter carried by the the Center for Climate and Security, a Washington-based think tank.

Signatories include the Center’s advisory board members retired General Anthony Zinni, former commander of the U.S. Central Command, and retired Admiral Samuel Locklear, former head of the Pacific Command.

The group warns that climate change will increasingly inundate military bases, potentially effecting 10 percent of installations, and fuel resource insecurity leading to conflict and mass migration.

A report published at the same time by the Center for Climate and Security warns of the effects of rising seas and increasing extreme weather events.

“The military has long had a tradition of parsing threats through a ‘Survive to Operate’ lens, meaning we cannot assume the best case scenario, but must prepare to be able to effectively operate even under attack,” the report said.

A report from the think tank’s 42-member Climate and Security Advisory Group advised that the next U.S. president to create a cabinet level position to deal with climate change and its impact on national security.

Last year, the Department of Defense called climate change a “threat multiplier,” warning that a changing climate “increases the risk of instability and conflict overseas, and has implications for [Defense Department] on operations, personnel, installations, and the stability, development, and human security of other nations.”

In 2014, the Defense Department released a Climate Change Adaptation Roadmap, the first steps towards assessing how the U.S. military could adapt to the changing conditions.

Director of National Intelligence James Clapper also warned last week that “climate change is going to be an underpinning for a lot of national security issues.”

It affects “so many things: the availability of basics like water and food and other resources which are continually going to become matters of conflict, and already are, between and among countries,” he said.

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