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The Future of Research on Climate Change and Armed Conflict

Pakistan flood relief

U.S. Marines unload food and supplies for Pakistani flood victims in support of the flood relief effort in Pano Aqil, Pakistan, Sept. 11, 2010. U.S. Army photo by Sgt. Jason Bushong

By Dr. Marc Kodack

As military planners look out to future operating environments that they may face, they need to continue to anticipate the changing social, environmental, political, and economic conditions that populations may experience when these populations are increasingly affected by climate change. Climate change will dynamically influence many societal variables including migrationfood security, and conflict. Planners may be particularly drawn to the causes of conflict. Mach et. al (2020) present four areas of future research that would assist planners with better understanding the relationship between climate change and armed conflict.

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Climate Change Didn’t Pause for COVID-19: Implications for Military Readiness

joanvandervort_climateandsecuritypodcast

Joan VanDervort, Advisory Board, The Center for Climate and Security

By Joan VanDervort

As COVID-19 continues to hammer the nation, approximately 61,900 Department of Defense (DoD) personnel (45,600 of which are made up of National Guard) have been called on to support the national response.

“With COVID-19, it’s like we have 54 different hurricanes hitting every state, every territory, and the District of Columbia — some are Category 5, some are Category 3, and some are Category 1,” Gen. Joseph Lengyel, Chief of the National Guard Bureau, said in a recent statement.[1]

But its more than that – not only is DoD supporting the response to the “54 different hurricanes,” but they are fighting the pandemic internally as it begins to degrade readiness from impacts on the pipeline for new recruits to delays in deployments, pauses in training, and cancelation of major exercises. (more…)

On the Record: Climate as a Security Risk According to U.S. Administration Officials

James_Mattis_Official_SECDEF_PhotoUnder both Republican and Democratic Administrations, senior U.S. military, national security and foreign policy leaders have recognized the security risks of climate change, and urged a response that is commensurate to the threat. In this context, The Center for Climate and Security has created a new page, On The Record, on its Climate Security 101 Project website compiling key statements on the issue from current and past military, national security and foreign policy leaders. This is not a complete list, but it is a good reminder that climate change is far more than just an environmental concern. (more…)

New Research: Food Riots, Governance and Climate Change

Protesters marching in Cairo, "Bread, Freedom, Social Justice By, Mariam Soliman from Cairo, Egypt

Protesters marching in Cairo, “Bread, Freedom, Social Justice By, Mariam Soliman from Cairo, Egypt

This is a cross-post from New Security Beat by Cullen Hendrix

*We draw special attention to the conclusion of the article (emphasis added):

Our research suggests that reducing urban biases, like food subsidies, may be good pro-poor policy, given the continued concentration of poverty in the countryside, but it carries political risks. Thus, developing country governments face a tradeoff in pursuing two separate but linked definitions of food security: food security as a component of human security, where pro-poor policies may be the best answer, and food security as a component of national security, where urban interests seem the most pressing.

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