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U.S. Military May Be the Strongest Force in Battle Against Climate Change

Fear is a potent force in American politics. It is the force that sustains the War on Terror, the latest calls for further military interventions in Iraqi and Syrian civil wars, and Obama's use of drones on multiple continents. At the same time, fear about the threat of climate change has proven sharply divisive. Appeals to scientific consensus from the left have encountered strong resistance from the right; according to conservatives, "scare tactics" about the threat posed by global warming have not worked. But Republican aversion to scientific rationality is coming under attack from an unexpected direction: the U.S. defense establishment, hardly a hotbed of environmental radicalism, is sounding the alarm about the security threat of climate change.

In a May 2014 report, the Center for Naval Analyses Military Advisory Board (CNA), a Pentagon-funded think tank, detailed how global warming is a "threat multiplier" and already a "catalyst for conflict" in East Africa, the Middle East, and South and Southeast Asia. The Pentagon's 2014 Quadrennial Defense Review, the core document outlining U.S. defense priorities, explicitly states that climate change "will devastate homes, land, and infrastructure", "exacerbate water scarcity", "lead to sharp increases in food costs", aggravate "conditions that can enable terrorist activity and other forms of violence", and "may increase the frequency, scale, and complexity of future [military] missions". The White House this year released a National Climate Assessment report underscoring the likelihood of intensified drought, coastal flooding, and costly damage to vital economic sectors. With such statements, the U.S. joins the more than 70 percent of countries in the world that have explicitly identified climate change as a threat to national security.

For the complete article, please see Huffington Post.