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On December 13, a Caribbean regional consultation hosted by the Caribbean Disaster Emergency Management Agency (CDEMA) was held in Aruba. The conference, titled “Climate and Security in the Caribbean Region: A Roadmap to Resilience,” brought together experts, practitioners and policymakers to discuss climate change and its effect on security across the Caribbean region. The Center for Climate and Security (CCS), the US consortium partner of the Planetary Security Initiative (PSI) that co-organized the event along with The Kingdom of the Netherlands, the Aruba Centre of Excellence for Sustainable Development of Small Island Developing States, the Clingendael Institute and the Planetary Security Initiative (PSI), supported the event. (more…)
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…)
By Lieutenant Commander Oliver-Leighton Barrett, United States Navy (Retired)
Senior Research Fellow, The Center for Climate and Security
President Obama will be making a short but historic trip to Kingston, Jamaica on the eve of the Summit of the Americas to be held in Panama (April 10–11). During his visit, Obama will meet with the Heads of Government of the Caribbean Community (CARICOM) for discussions on regional security and trade. This presents an opportunity for leaders to discuss how the American-Caribbean strategic cooperation framework can be broadened to incorporate non-traditional security matters, such as climate change. (more…)
By Lieutenant Commander Oliver-Leighton Barrett, U.S. Navy (ret) Senior Research Fellow, The Center for Climate and Security
From December 1-12, world leaders are meeting in Lima, Peru to lay the groundwork for a global agreement on climate change. But aside from being a setting for this round of international climate talks, the Latin American region is facing significant security and development threats from climate change that are not often reported.
Climate change is a stressor that will compound, and already is compounding, vexing preexisting developmental challenges across the regions’ states – testing governments to the limits of their capacities and affecting populations in diverse ways. While this “stressor” is becoming better appreciated by development stakeholders, a dimension that is not as well-appreciated is the impact climatic and environmental shifts will have on states’ security in general, and on the operations of regional militaries more specifically. Below is a sub-regional breakdown – a sort of “get to the point” compilation – of the implications of climate change on this growing, dynamic and increasingly relevant region of the globe. The compilation draws from and builds on a joint military assessment I contributed to as a consultant for U.S. Southern Command (SOUTHCOM). The geographic categories below reflect a structure commonly used in the U.S defense sector. (more…)