At an event hosted by Duke University’s Program in American Grand Strategy, the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, General Joe Dunford, responded to a question on climate change from a student in the audience. Here’s what he said (beginning at 1:23:56 here):
When we look at, when I look at, climate change, it’s in the category of sources of conflict around the world and things we have to respond to. So it can be great devastation requiring humanitarian assistance/ disaster relief, which the U.S. military certainly conducts routinely. In fact, I can’t think of a year since I’ve been on active duty that we haven’t conducted at least one operation in the Pacific along those lines due to extreme weather in the Pacific. And then, when you look at source of conflict – shortages of water, and those kind of things – those are all sources of conflict. So, it is very much something that we take into account in our planning as we anticipate when, where and how we may be engaged in the future and what capabilities we should have.
General Dunford joins a growing list of 18 other senior military leaders appointed by the current President who have identified climate change as a security risk that is affecting the U.S. military, and that the U.S. military is dealing with.
Click here to watch the entire event with General Dunford.