Analysis

Obama Administration Focuses on Climate Change as National Security Threat

The White House released a report today on the national security implications of climate change and the ways in which the Department of Defense and the federal government are rising to meet the challenges.

The Pew Charitable Trusts has been working on this issue for the past six years. In 2009, Pew launched its project on national security, energy, and climate. With John W. Warner, the former senator from Virginia who was chairman of the Armed Services Committee, serving as a senior adviser, the project highlights the critical nexus of national security, energy security, and climate change and their impacts on the men and women of the armed services. Phyllis Cuttino, the project’s director, said of the White House announcement: “National security, energy security, and climate change are interrelated global challenges that place tremendous pressure on the U.S. military. Insecurity fueled by extreme weather, famine, and droughts can disrupt the work of the armed services abroad, while the increasing demand for disaster response to superstorms is expanding their roles at home. To address these global threats, the Department of Defense is factoring climate change into its long-term planning and working to increase energy security and resiliency on military bases to provide vital support to forward operations and humanitarian relief missions.”

Climate Change Threatens National Security, Warn U.S. Military and GOP Veteran

August 23, 2010

U.S. military officials and former Republican Senator John Warner warn that America's dependence on foreign oil puts our armed forces in harm's way, and that the effects of climate change could lead to political instability and humanitarian crises.