NATO must be prepared for rapidly-multiplying threats, including climate change.
Retired US navy admiral James Stavridis, former supreme allied commander Europe, dubbed the upcoming NATO summit in Wales “the most important one since the fall of the Berlin Wall because of the clear level of multi-crises”.
Russia’s revanchist military designs in Ukraine, instability in Libya, and the implosion of the Syrian and Iraqi states, have all focused NATO’s attention on its backyard.
But despite NATO’s renewed focus on state-based threats, it’s not the same world the alliance dealt with during the cold war.
Since 1991, the world population has increased by two billion, the internet and global marketplace connect nations across democratic and authoritarian borders, and transnational threats, including cyber-security, state failure, and the proliferation of nuclear materials, litter the international security environment.
Overlaid on this landscape is climate change, a “threat multiplier” which according to the Pentagon’s 2014 Quadrennial Defense Review, places significant strains on water, food and energy security.
Is NATO ready for a multi-crisis world, exacerbated by a changing climate?
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