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Initial Reactions to the Biden Budget: Takes Systemic Security Risks Seriously, But More Is Needed

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Perhaps more than any executive branch budget submission in history, the first budget released by the Biden administration today takes the gravity of transnational, systemic security risks seriously and begins significant investments in addressing them. Yet there will be more work to do past the Fiscal Year 2022 budget in order to ensure that federal government resources are commensurate to these threats. Here are initial reactions to the budget by several CSR experts in these issues.

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The CSR Team on the Biden Budget and Systemic Threats

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To date, the Biden administration appears to be prioritizing work to address the greatest threats to international security and stability, including biological risks, the security implications of climate change, dramatic ecological disruption, and nuclear threats. Analyzing, anticipating, and addressing these issues—and how they intersect and exacerbate one another—are at the core of the mission of the Council on Strategic Risks (CSR). 

In anticipation of the administration releasing its first full budget request on May 27th, the CSR team offers the following insights and hopes for what it will contain.

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What Would a Climate-Focused Defense Budget Look Like?

John Conger talks to C-SPAN’s Washington Journal on climate threats to the U.S. military – April 25, 2019

By John Conger

Every Administration makes changes to the draft budget they receive before it is submitted to Congress, and there’s every reason to expect that to be the case with a President Biden.  The budget is supposed to be submitted by the first Monday in February, but that deadline is rarely met.  Incoming Presidents Ronald Reagan, Bill Clinton, and George W. Bush submitted their budgets in April, while President Barack Obama submitted his first budget in May.  In this window, changes get made to better reflect the priorities of the incoming Administration.

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Admiral Phillips and Admiral Titley to House Budget Committee: The Security Costs of Climate Change

Rear Admiral Ann Phillips before the House Budget Committee_2019_7_26

Rear Admiral Ann Phillips, USN (Ret), testifies before the House Budget Committee, July 24, 2019

By Mariah Furtek

On Wednesday, June 24, the House Budget Committee held a hearing on the costs the U.S. is facing due to climate change and the resulting expenses for our security enterprise.  

Witnesses included Rear Admiral Ann Phillips, US Navy (Ret) and Rear Admiral David Titley, US Navy (Ret), both members of the Center for Climate and Security Advisory Board.  Witnesses focused on a wide range of climate change impacts on national security, coastal infrastructure, agriculture and public health.   (more…)

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