The Center for Climate & Security

Capitol Hill Event: Enhancing Mission Resiliency Against Environmental Threats

800px-Navy Norfolk Virginia

Nimitz-class aircraft carrier USS Harry S. Truman passes downtown Norfolk waterfront (U.S. Navy photo, 3rd Class Tyler Folnsbee/Released)

The American Resilience Project & the Center for Climate and Security present “Enhancing Mission Resiliency Against Environmental Threats: A Conversation About Issues Raised in the Film Tidewater,” hosted by Members of the House Armed Services Committee: Rep. Elise Stefanik (R, NY); Rep. James Langevin (D, RI); Rep. Carol Shea-Porter (D, NH).

A panel and discussion will follow the film featuring Deputy Assistant Secretary of Defense Maureen Sullivan, former Asst. Secretary of the Navy Dennis McGinn, and former DOD Deputy Comptroller John Conger. The panel will be moderated by Heather Messera of the Center for Climate and Security.

When: Wednesday November 15, 2017, 5:30 to 8pm (reception at 5:30, film at 6:30 pm)
Where: United States Capitol Visitor Center Orientation Theater North
RSVP: Click here to register

Combating Cyberthreats and Stormwater Surges: These Fields Have More in Common Than You Think

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Soldiers with the Texas Army National Guard move floodwaters from Hurricane Harvey (U.S. Army photo by 1st Lt. Zachary West)

By Dan Allen, Research Fellow

In the cyberworld, computer servers, routers, firewalls, and other similar technologies, sit at the outermost edge, or perimeter, of a protected computer network. These cyber devices form a boundary between vulnerable internal resources and outside networks (such as the internet), and hackers often focus on breaching these “edge” devices. For example, successful cyberattacks at the web application layer perimeter can bypass perimeter security provided by a network firewall, server, and routers. Similarly, threats resulting from climate change, which are also multifaceted and multidirectional in nature, can bypass traditional, one-dimensional, perimeter-focused risk prevention methods such as the infamously inadequate system of storm categorization that measure a storm’s strength in terms of wind velocity, but says little about how a storm will interact with the tides to create a destructive storm surge.

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RELEASE: Bipartisan Military, Political and City Leaders Talk Climate and Security in Seattle

USS Nebraska_at_Naval_Base_Kitsap

USS NEBRASKA at Naval Base Kitsap Bangor, Washington (WA).

RELEASE:  Bipartisan Group of Military, Political and City Leaders Gather in Seattle to Talk Climate Change and Security

Event brings US and Asia-Pacific perspective on building U.S. military and community resilience to climate change

Seattle, WA – Ranking Member of the House Armed Services Committee Congressman Adam Smith, military experts who served in both Republican and Democratic administrations, and community leaders from the Seattle area are gathering to discuss existing and future national security risks from climate change, and outline opportunities for Asia-Pacific cooperation on the issue at a roundtable on Monday, October 30 from 1-5pm PDT (livestreamed here). The Center for Climate and Security, in partnership with the Henry M. Jackson Foundation, are hosting the forum to inform policy responses to climate risks that will benefit both military and civilian communities, at home and in the broader Asia-Pacific region.

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Climate Change and NATO: A New Study

Africa Partnership Station

Moroccan sailor, boarding exercise, NATO Maritime Interdiction Operational Training Center in Souda Bay, Greece (U.S. Navy photo by Brian A. Goyak)

Guest post by Amar Causevic

This article summarizes findings from a recent journal article, Facing an Unpredictable Threat: Is NATO Ideally Placed to Manage Climate Change as a Non-Traditional Threat Multiplier?” published in the George C. Marshall European Centre for Security Studies’ “Connections: The Quarterly Journal.”

Climate change acts as multiplier of other threats to national and international security. The multiplier effects of climate change include stresses on the ability of families to provide for themselves (which can contribute to increased refugee and migration flows), a broader spread of diseases, potentially causing or exacerbating lethal pandemics, and other significant challenges to human security. (more…)

Japan, G7 and Climate Change and Fragility in the Asia-Pacific Region

Joint disaster drill

Commander Fleet Activities Yokosuka port operations department sailors onboard USS Puyallup, simulate delivering food, clothing, first aid kits to Japanese disaster workers during 33rd annual Bosai Kunren. US Navy Photo By Joseph Schmitt

By Shiloh Fetzek and Heather Messera

The Japanese Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MoFA) released a regional study in September on climate-related disaster vulnerability and socioeconomic and fragility risks in Asia-Pacific, articulating their view of climate change as one of the greatest threats to global security and economic prosperity.

The report, ‘Analysis and Proposal of Foreign Policies Regarding the Impact of Climate Change on Fragility in the Asia-Pacific Region – With focus on natural disasters in the Region’, is the product of a roundtable seminar, that included participation by the Center for Climate and Security’s (CCS) Shiloh Fetzek, and follow-up meetings hosted by Japan in connection with the G7 Working Group on Climate Change and Fragility. (more…)

2017 Hurricanes: Military Increasingly Getting Its Feet Wet

Loading Water Navy (Puerto Rico)

Sailors load water near San Juan, Puerto Rico, as humanitarian relief following Hurricane Maria. Navy photo, Petty Officer 3rd Class Danny Ray Nunez Jr.

By Lieutenant Commander Oliver-Leighton Barrett, United States Navy (Retired), Senior Research Fellow

Admiral Keating, Commander of U.S. Northern Command from 2004 to 2007, remarked that “The energy Katrina released was the equivalent of 1,000 Hiroshima explosions.” In responding to the aftermath of the hurricane, U.S. Northern Command units – in conjunction with the National Guard – providing tens of thousands of military personnel, search and rescue resources, and humanitarian supplies.

Though the combined destructive energy and impact of the 2017 Hurricane triumvirate, Harvey, Irma and Maria, have yet to be conclusively framed and assessed, it’s worthwhile even now to look at some of the ways that the military is increasingly being drawn into the kinds of battles that can’t be won with weaponry. Such conversations are especially relevant since the military (particularly, Combatant Commands, their components, and National Guard units) is increasingly being called upon to significantly augment civil emergency agencies after big storms events. (more…)

Puerto Rico and Climate Security Planning

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U.S. Navy conducts search for people in distress after Hurricane Maria (U.S. Navy photo by Liam Kennedy)

Guest post by Chad Briggs, Strategy Director, GlobalInt LLC

News of the unfolding humanitarian disaster in the US territories of Puerto Rico and the Virgin Islands following Hurricane Maria have been disquieting, to say the least. Critics have accused the Trump administration of slow response to the hurricane impacts, while defenders of the White House claim that such responses take time, and that things are going as well as could be hoped. Coupled with the damage to Florida and Texas following Hurricanes Irma and Harvey, the US and its Caribbean neighbors have experienced the most intense month of hurricane activity in history.

Although conditions are far from stable and it is too early to draw full conclusions from current events, two important points should be made in reference to the September 2017 hurricanes. First, despite the complicated nature of disaster response and the difficulties in aiding an island with millions of people, planning techniques exist that allow effective mitigation and response- it is a matter of political will as to how well they are employed. A related point is that such disasters may well become more severe due to climate change, and it is incumbent upon the US government and its allies to plan for such events and their impacts well in advance. (more…)

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