Washington, DC, March 5, 2019 — In an extraordinary letter published today by the Center for Climate and Security (CCS) and the American Security Project (ASP), a group of 58 senior retired military and national security leaders denounced the National Security Council (NSC) plan to set up an “adversarial” group to undermine the science that informs defense and intelligence threat assessments on climate change. The plan is being driven by vocal climate denier William Happer, who has expertise in neither climate science nor national security. The letter includes former secretaries of defense and state (Hagel and Kerry) former combatant commanders (such as Admiral Locklear and General McChrystal), former intelligence leaders (such as Greg Treverton, past Chair of the National Intelligence Council) and other senior military and national security officials that served in Republican and Democratic administrations stretching back to President Eisenhower. The letter represents an extraordinary rebuke from a very practical community that is normally focused on addressing external threats, not internal politics. This demonstrates how far outside the national security consensus the NSC proposal is. The letter states:
“…we are deeply concerned by reports that National Security Council officials are considering forming a committee to dispute and undermine military and intelligence judgments on the threat posed by climate change. This includes second-guessing the scientific sources used to assess the threat, such as the rigorously peer-reviewed National Climate Assessment, and applying that to national security policy. Imposing a political test on reports issued by the science agencies, and forcing a blind spot onto the national security assessments that depend on them, will erode our national security.”
Read the letter online: here [CCS] and here [ASP]
More info: See the Center for Climate and Security’s Chronology of U.S. Military Statements and Actions on Climate Change and Security: 2017-2019 and the American Security Project’s Record of Bipartisan Congressional and Administration Actions on Climate Change and National Security
- Francesco Femia, The Center for Climate and Security; ffemia at climateandsecurity dot org
- Andrew Holland, The American Security Project; aholland at americansecurityproject dot org
The Center for Climate and Security is a non-partisan security policy institute of the Council on Strategic Risks with a team and Advisory Board of senior military and national security experts.
The American Security Project (ASP) is a nonpartisan organization created to educate the American public and the world about the changing nature of national security in the 21st Century.