By: Frank Smith
In his 2019 book, All Hell Breaking Loose, Michael Klare disclosed the concerns expressed by the most senior military leaders in the United States. Klare discusses the military’s “altered perspective” on the impact of climate change on the ability to keep the United States secure in the future. The first major study was released in the 2007 publication of National Security and the Threat of Climate Change. Klare reveals that the report begins, “The predicted effects of climate change over the coming decades include extreme weather events, drought, flooding, sea level rise, retreating glaciers, habitat shifts, and the increased spread of life-threatening diseases. These conditions have the potential to disrupt our way of life and to force changes in the way we keep ourselves safe and secure.”
The report’s authors introduced a new expression to the lexicon of climate change analysis, according to Klare. The expression is threat multiplier.
Klare goes on to explain that the U.S. military has been able to accommodate singular extreme weather events in the past. The problem is that these major events will occur with greater frequency or in rapid succession. As global temperatures rise, the incidence of such clusters will become “progressively more serious and more frequent and at an accelerating rate.” An example of this occurred when “hurricane Harvey, Irma, and Maria struck within the span of several weeks”. Having the military involved in unending disaster relief efforts will degrade our ability to protect America.
The report goes on to say that “Many governments in Asia, Africa, and the Middle East are already on edge in terms of their ability to provide basic needs; food, water, shelter and stability.” “Projected climate change will exacerbate the problems in these regions and add to the problems of effective governance.” “Climate change acts as a threat multiplier for instability in some of the most volatile regions of the world.” Here at home, states which rely on water from the Colorado River are becoming alarmed and may engage in conflict with each other.
The Pentagon’s 2010 Quadrennial Defense Review (QDR) stated, “Climate change will contribute to food and water scarcity, will increase the spread of disease, and may spur or exacerbate mass migration.
Klare says that “Global warming as a threat to American National Security had now become a basic tenet of the country’s official military doctrine.
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