By John Conger
As the U.S. Army prepares troops for the future of warfare, it has, without question, a lot on its plate. Complicating that picture for the Army is climate change. The Army Training and Doctrine Command (TRADOC), which as its name implies is responsible for overseeing training and operational doctrine development for the Army, affirmed at a recent conference that it sees climate change as a key factor influencing how and where the Army will fight.
As reported by the Army Times:
Ian Sullivan, the assistant G-2 (intelligence) for TRADOC, noted that shifting demographics and two previously limited fronts — megacities and the Arctic — would be key factors in the future operating environment the Army will face.
Other items Sullivan mentioned included outside elements that will cause changes that the Army must include in its strategic, operational and even tactical planning. They include climate change, resource competition, economic rebalancing and income disparity, demographics and urbanization.
The Army’s approach to climate change in this strategic, operational and tactical context is also consistent with its approach on the installations and readiness side of the ledger, as stated by Alex Beehler, Assistant Secretary of the Army for Installations, Energy, and Environment during his confirmation hearing in August:
…if confirmed, from my position I will do everything to encourage installations and help direct installations to properly prepare on a case by case basis for both adverse weather and effects long-term from climate.
In short, the Army’s preparing for a future operating environment that looks very different from today’s.