Military Admits Global Warming a Threat to National Security
August 9, 2009
(ChattahBox)—According to the New York Times, the Pentagon and intelligence agencies are finally confronting the weighty challenges ahead and the threat to U.S. national security, presented by the deadly effects of the global warming of our planet from greenhouse gas emissions.
New reports sound the alarm on the impact global warming would have, on already strained military resources, in dealing with massive flooding, surging seas, drought, deadly storms, food shortages and worldwide political unrest, as the effects of increasing global warming take its toll on the environment.
This is the first time the military and intelligence agencies have considered global warming as part of national security and budget planning. Congress under the direction of Hillary Rodham Clinton and John W. Warner, when both were senators, persuaded the Department of Defense to include the effects of global warming in its 2008 budget authorizations.
The Department of Defense is using scientific data and climate research programs run by, the Navy, Air Force, NASA and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, to prepare its threat assessments on global warming. The National Intelligence Council issued its threat assessment of global warming last year, forecasting dire geopolitical problems that would prompt a military and humanitarian response from U.S. forces
The Pentagon plans to include a climate change assessment in its upcoming Quadrennial Defense Review and the issues will be addressed in the State Department’s Quadrennial Diplomacy and Development Review.
Intelligence studies have focused on the regions of sub-Saharan Africa, the Middle East and South and Southeast Asia, as particularly vulnerable to the effects of global warming. Droughts and food shortages from global warming have the potential to cause severe political unrest in shaky democracies around the world and spur on terrorist activities.
The present political conflict in Sudan is viewed as global warming related, caused by the severe drought in Darfur and the expanding desert to the North. And the scenario in Sudan could be repeated in other vulnerable regions in the years ahead, if global warming is left unabated.
Unless green house gasses are reduced to combat the acceleration of global warming, our future environment looks grim with the prospect of worldwide hunger, drought, flooding and political unrest. A recent government report shows that glaciers are melting and receding at an alarming rate.
Gen. Anthony C. Zinni, a retired Marine and the former head of the Central Command, recently co-authored a report prepared by a military advisory board saying, “We will pay to reduce greenhouse gas emissions today, and we’ll have to take an economic hit of some kind. Or we will pay the price later in military terms. And that will involve human lives.”