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New Report – Indian Ocean Rising: Maritime Security and Policy Challenges

The Stimson Center, based in Washington, DC, recently released a new report that covers many substantial topics related to the nexus between climate change and security in the Indian Ocean region.  It is certainly worth a read. Below is the announcement of the report’s release from David Michel, co-editor of the report and Director of the Environmental Security Program at the Stimson Center. (more…)

Climate and Security 101: Why the U.S. National Security Establishment Takes Climate Change Seriously

In a 2007 report by the CNA Military Advisory Board, General Gordon R. Sullivan stated: “People are saying they want to be perfectly convinced about climate science projections…But speaking as a soldier, we never have 100 percent certainty. If you wait until you have 100 percent certainty, something bad is going to happen on the battlefield.”

The national security establishment in the United States, including the U.S. military and the U.S. intelligence community, understand that climate change is a national security threat, and that we cannot wait for 100% certainty before acting to mitigate and adapt to its effects. But not only do they understand it, they plan for it – considering it’s implications in strategic documents like the Quadrennial Defense Review, and setting up an office within the CIA called the Center for Climate Change and National Security. But why? (more…)

Pirates, Monsoons and Climate Change: Sorry, Johnny Depp’s Not in This One

When one thinks about climate change, and its impact on the seasonal monsoon that affects the Indian Ocean littoral, pirates don’t necessarily come to mind. But maybe they should. A recent piece in Stratfor highlights that the end of the monsoon season, which brings calmer waters, is good news for pirates in the region who rely on steady seas. Climate change, which is expected to alter, and likely delay, the monsoon season, may thus have a non-trivial effect on the movement of pirates. (more…)