National Defense Magazine, a publication of the National Defense Industrial Association, ran a very interesting piece last week titled “Superstorm Sandy Topples Traditional Notions of National Security.” In it, the author Sandra Irwin exposes the myth that the United States homeland (as well as U.S. assets abroad) are generally immune to the national security impacts of climate change. She states:
The disaster that was Superstorm Sandy…might cause a rethinking of how climate change threatens national security. The unprecedented destruction that the storm left behind is a reminder that the nation’s infrastructure backbone — which is essential to both the civilian economy and military activities — is fragile and in need of massive reinforcements that will require hundreds of billions of dollars, analysts warn.
Irwin heavily quotes the American Security Project’s recently released Climate Security Report, which features a large section on the current and projected impacts of climate change on the U.S. homeland. The American Security Project concludes:
Though this debate continues to rage, there should be no doubt that national security leaders understand that this is a question of risk management. As a national security institution, ASP knows that there is no such thing as “certainty” on the battlefield—there is only uncertainty. The same goes for preparing for climate change; the United States must be ready for contingencies.
It is worth reinforcing the simple fact that National Defense is not an environmental publication devoted to promoting action on climate change, and neither is the American Security Project an environmental institution. They are both devoted to addressing some of the most significant threats to U.S. national security, and in advancing a very practical goal of national preparedness.
Read the full National Defense article here.