Source: Is Climate Change Real? The Pentagon Sure Thinks So by Bill Briggs, nbcnews.com, May 10, 2014.
Extended quote: by Mark Wright, a Pentagon spokesperson,
"For (US Department of Defense), this is a mission reality, not a political debate. The scientific forecast is for more Arctic ice melt, more sea-level rise, more intense storms, more flooding from storm surge, and more droughts.
"Those changes shape the future operating environment, help us predict missions we'll have to undertake, and create challenges and constraints on how we operate on our bases. We're taking sensible measured steps to mitigate the mission risk posed by climate change."
According to this article, many experts inside and outside the Pentagon think U.S. national security already is being tested by massive unrest, revolts and humanitarian calamities triggered, in part, by climate change.
Retired Navy Vice Adm. Lee Gunn points to the civil war in Syria, which has left an estimated 100,000 people dead, which has its roots in a regional drought.
Even more, Gunn looks at 2011 Arab Spring – bitter civil wars, rulers overthrown, and riots that spread from North Africa into the Middle East – as similarly tied to a mammoth winter drought in China plus record heat waves and flooding in other countries, including Russia, where the Middle East obtains much of its wheat.
U.S. security experts worry about the hazard of the rice fields of Southeast Asia, especially Vietnam, getting ruined by melting Himalayan glaciers. Bangladesh could get swamped by the same flooding, which could push a massive refugee flow into India. This flooding could threaten the fresh water resources of India and Pakistan.
U.S. security and military strategists are even more concerned about unstable governments and fragile societies unable to withstand huge weather disasters. If those governments crumble, terrorists could then step into the power void, said Dennis McGinn, assistant secretary of the Navy for energy, installations and environment, and a retired Navy vice admiral.
McGinn then stated,
"We (the military) have a strong history of being apolitical. We also understand risk. WE deal with life-and-death risk. This gives us a credibility and a perspective that is necessary in dealing with all kinds of threats to national security, including threats due to climate change."
Image Source: globalchange.gov