The Center for Naval Analyses has released a report warning that climate change is a threat that, “much like terrorism or cyber-attacks,” is not limited by political boundaries and requires similar attention. The study also attributes major political events to climate change, such as the Arab Spring and the Syrian Civil War.
The CNA’s military advisory board, consisting of a number of military leaders from various wings of the armed forces, concludes in the extended study that the United States must lead in preparedness for disasters caused by climate change and that the military in particular must invest resources to fight climate change. Those resources include extended work to facilitate navigation of the Arctic Ocean and investment in cleaner energy.
“Actions by the United States and the international community have been insufficient to adapt to the challenges associated with projected climate change,” the coalition writes. It recommends that the military prepare to be called on to respond to a growing number of natural disasters, as well as prepare for “drought and flooding—and resulting food shortages, desertification, population dislocation and mass migration, and sea level rise,” which “are posing security challenges to these regions’ governments.”
The report then goes on to blame climate change for a number of political phenomena that are notably linked by an obvious culprit: radical Islam. For example, it notes that “Syria’s ongoing conflict was preceded by five years of devastating droughts,” and that while they could not fully attribute the entirety of the regional stirrings known as the Arab Spring to climate change, “the impacts of climate change may also have served as catalysts for these conflicts.” It also adds climate change into the same “genre of threats” as “terrorism or cyber-attacks.”