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U.S. Southern Command Magazine: Security Implications of Climate Change in Latin America

FAHUM 2019

More than 13 Latin American countries participated in combined exercise FAHUM 2019, a humanitarian assistance and disaster relief exercise designed to build capacity for civil and military response to major disasters. (Photo: U.S. Army Specialist Miguel Ruiz, 100th Mobile Public Affairs Detachment)

In a recent article in U.S. Southern Command’s America’s-focused magazine, Dialogo, Lieutenant Commander Oliver-Leighton Barrett, US Navy (ret), Senior Research Fellow with the Center for Climate and Security, explores the security implications of climate change in Latin America, and argues that “Militaries across the Americas must boost preparedness for the risks and consequences of natural disasters, experts in climate change and its security implications say.”

Regarding what the U.S. military should do, Oliver highlights the results of a 2017 report by Commander (ret.) Patrick Paterson, professor of Security Studies at the William J. Perry Center for Hemispheric Studies, titled “Global Warming and Climate Change in South America.” In that report, Paterson noted:

“The [U.S.] armed forces, particularly the navy, should carry out studies of their barracks and infrastructures, since coastal military installations at sea level are likely to be victims of the rise of the ocean. As such, military commanders should set up equipment that can study-long term naval infrastructure plans, such as fuel bases, power plants or marine shipyards…”.

Click here for the full article.

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