Pentagon links climate change and terrorism

Yesterday the Pentagon launched a plan to deal with a threat that “poses immediate risks to national security”; one that “will affect the Department of Defense’s ability to defend the nation”.

It wasn’t referring to Ebola or ISIS.

It was referring to climate change.

Launching a 20-page Climate Change Adaptation Roadmap, US Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel labelled global warming a “threat multiplier” that’s likely to exacerbate risks from terrorism, infectious disease, global poverty and food shortages.

What’s significant about the report is the characterization of climate change as a current threat demanding immediate action, rather than a future risk.

It frames climate change as a serious near-term challenge for strategic military operations.

The Pentagon will from now on integrate climate change threats into all of its plans, operations, and training across the entire Defense Department.

Hagel: “The loss of glaciers will strain water supplies in several areas of our hemisphere. Destruction and devastation from hurricanes can sow the seeds for instability. Droughts and crop failures can leave millions of people without any lifeline, and trigger waves of mass migration”.

Essentially, we could soon be fighting climate wars.

The cataclysmic situation in Syria has already been traced back to climate change. The historic drought that afflicted the country from 2006-2010 killed up to 85 percent of livestock in some regions and forced hundreds of villages to be abandoned due to crop failures.

More than 1.3 million people were affected – driven from their homes into the cities -frightened, angry and hungry.

Now we’re witnessing a dire humanitarian crisis for millions of Syrians, ISIS’ shadow stretching longer and Obama warning of “a long-term campaign” to defeat it.

As the Pentagon’s roadmap acknowledges, there’s still some uncertainty around future climate projections. But it warns “this cannot be an excuse for delaying action. Every day, our military deals with global uncertainty. Our planners know that, as military strategist Carl von Clausewitz wrote, ‘all action must, to a certain extent, be planned in a mere twilight‘.

In response to Obama’s call for backup over ISIS, John Key seems to be asking how high he should jump. The questions is, when will his Government start taking the threat of climate change as seriously?

20 thoughts on “Pentagon links climate change and terrorism

  1. I am always glad to see such cogent arguments from people who imagine they understand the world better than I do. \sarcasm

  2. What… you did NOT know that the wealthy have taken control? I am frankly, astonished.

    “Monetary Thermodynamics” is about what money is, and the method and control over money creation is why governments are controlled by those of means, but the relation is indirect.


    “People who dismiss the unemployed and dependent as ‘parasites’ fail to understand economics and parasitism. A successful parasite is one that is not recognized by its host, one that can make its host work for it without appearing as a burden. Such is the ruling class in a capitalist society.”
    ― Jason Read

  3. Don’t be silly. Either you haven’t been here very long or you simply haven’t troubled to remember what I’ve actually said on the topic….

    Oh, you’re one of those who labours under the false impression that the USA is a democracy.

    Are you saying that the military is running the show there? They don’t, any more than “we the people” do.

    Working out who does is not hard.

  4. Oh, you’re one of those who labours under the false impression that the USA is a democracy.

    What you say of the military/security complex may have been true for the lower ranks before Truman’s time. Although Smedley Butler thought not long before that.

  5. John

    Lieutenants study tactics, Generals study logistics. The deal for the US Military is that powering all their “stuff” is a logistical problem. Nuclear powered ships are easier to keep moving. Solar/wind powered outposts don’t expose truck convoys of fuel to attack by the enemy. Vulnerability is reduced. They don’t get a lot of say about where they get sent or why… their job is to “hurt people and break things” at the direction of the US Congress and in the defense of the Constitution of the United States. That’s the oath that they swear. That I once swore. The point you are making about “irony” is inherent in the fact that they DO NOT have any real say in what they are directed to do.

    You may not like them but they are doing the job they are supposed to do. If the Congress of the USA did the job IT is supposed to do the US Military would have far less of a challenge… and you would perceive far less irony. 🙂

    respectfully
    BJ

  6. dbuckley says:
    October 21, 2014 at 12:48 pm
    The US Military are quite switched on about threats that compromise their mission; when we thought Peak Oil was going to be troublesome they were all over that like a rash, and some of their thinking about reducing energy consumption where possible pervades to this day.

    The US military is the single biggest user of oil on the planet. Ironically, given that their main raison d’etre is to maintain control of oil resources for US/UK trans-national corporations.

  7. Business NZ want more consumers. Immigrants fill that bill while taxpayers pay for infrastructure built on that paid for by past generations. Cheap labour who will work for lower wages and with poorer conditions also suits them fine. No lunch break, smoko nor holiday pay also suits as well.

    Where is the discussion on intelligent reduction of population globally and locally.

    Taxpayers do not ‘pay’ for infrastructure. Tax pays for nothing.

    Population is not a problem. Capitalism and its wasteful resource distribution system is the problem.

  8. BJC
    Login is at the bottom of the web page.

    Business NZ want more consumers. Immigrants fill that bill while taxpayers pay for infrastructure built on that paid for by past generations. Cheap labour who will work for lower wages and with poorer conditions also suits them fine. No lunch break, smoko nor holiday pay also suits as well.

    Where is the discussion on intelligent reduction of population globally and locally.

    Unsustainable is what we got.

    Key couldn’t give a stuff about the pension age. His transparent porkies are about getting votes.

    Adaption forced by climate shift will not prevent further climate shift.

    To stem the rate of climate shift things have to change drastically. That thinking appears to be too bigger step for some who persist in clinging to the same old mind space.

    Terrorism is alive and well. The Pentagon are short of mirrors.

  9. As for adaption DBuckley. If we do not mitigate as much as we can, we will not be able to adapt to the resulting mess. It isn’t an either or…. adaptation is going to be necessary, and it will be done, but there is none to do today apart from making sure we build/encourage no lasting infrastructure less than 20 meters above mean high water.

    Adaptation is supposedly National’s “strategy”. In the time they have been in office or in living memory can you think of ONE THING that they have done in that regard? In their mouth’s and mind’s it is simply an excuse that allows them to do nothing at all…. in short form? A lie.

    Failing to mitigate gives us a good chance of plus 4 degrees and the result will be devastation. If we start NOW we might hold it to plus 3. Maybe. With a lot of adjustments to the economy of the planet being necessary as the growing seasons, regions and productivity all goes pear-shaped.

    Greens are happy to work with both, but reliance on adaptation alone is simply wrong.

  10. We also have a defense policy. I note that in the discussion of roles, point 4 it discusses

    “Working alongside other agencies such as Immigration, Customs, Police, Conservation, Agriculture and Fisheries in maritime border protection work.”

    https://home.greens.org.nz/policy/defence-and-peacekeeping-armed-services-policy

    You managed in one short sentence to get 3 major aspects of our policies EXACTLY wrong.

    That’s part of the problem we have. NOBODY actually knows what we say, they only know what National says that we say.

  11. The US Military are quite switched on about threats that compromise their mission; when we thought Peak Oil was going to be troublesome they were all over that like a rash, and some of their thinking about reducing energy consumption where possible pervades to this day. So this is the US Military being ready to fight the battles they intend to fight (and they note that supressing civilians is part of their mission) and can carry on when climate change makes the going tough.

    It is amusing that the Green Party have referenced this, as the GP hate the idea of adaption, and instead want behaviour change, whereas the US Mil are all about adaption, and they don’t have a brief to talk emissions reduction outside of the US Mil generated emissions.

    The US Mil are also clearly ready to repel climatic refugees, which puts them exactly at odds with the Green Party, who want to encourage every displaced person on the planet to come here.

  12. Search for login, you’ll get a link. Bookmark that and it works. It seems the only way at the moment. Sure to be corrected next week.

  13. [I see no login button either and don’t appear to be logged in on this blog, even though I’m logged in on the main site]

    In answer to the last question in the post: never, perhaps not even when the evidence of actual impacts is overwhelming, just like the science is now.

  14. OK… using a poodle free browser I do not appear to even get a login prompt. The “Error: Rate limit exceeded” is present and I am wondering if this site is going to get an update.

    ——————————————–

    Too true Greengeek. The Key (and National) mantra is still that “growth” is a sacrament. They haven’t worked out the downsides and they don’t have any actual control over the results. They have a dangerous, damaging ideological fixation and the media is helping them by not questioning it.

  15. John Key is a fan of climate change and is happy to increase immigration from climate stricken areas. His longterm plan to keep the retirement age at 65 instead of increasing it to 67 is predicated on a policy of massive immigration fuelling the NZ economy.

    The more poor, starving, underpaid and grateful workers he can import the happier he will be.

    Climate crises overseas will create mini-storms of discontent in NZ as we all have to compete for jobs and learn to survive off breadcrumb wages, watching our economy being taken over by hoards of migrants.

    The lessons of matching population levels to good resource management policies have not been learnt. Key will use population ponzi schemes to prop up his retirement policy instead of leaving those people back in their overpopulated hometowns.

Comments are closed.