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Interview With Major General (Ret) Rich Engel On Climate Security & the National Intelligence Council

Australian Military personnel help Tsunami victims, Banda Aceh, Sumatra. Photo by Benjamin D. Glass

Australian Military personnel help Tsunami victims, Banda Aceh, Sumatra. Photo by Benjamin D. Glass

The Cipher Brief recently sat down with Major General (Ret) Richard Engel, Director of the Technology and Strategic Futures Program at the National Intelligence Council (NIC) to talk climate change and national security. In the interview Engel shed light on the development of the 2008 National Intelligence Assessment (NIA) on climate change and its impacts on U.S. National Security, and the evolution of how the intelligence community evaluates these risks since that assessment. The interview also explores the immediate impacts of climate change on US national security and global stability, the role of the intelligence community in mitigating the risks, opportunities for international cooperation, and whether or not we are too late on some of the risks. The full interview is worth a read.   (more…)

Chairman US National Intelligence Council: Factoring In Climate Security

Logo_of_the_National_Intelligence_CouncilDr. Gregory F. Treverton, the newly-appointed chairman of the US National Intelligence Council (NIC), sat down with the Atlantic Council on December 1 for his first on-the-record discussion on adapting intelligence for national security efforts. In context of a rich discussion on shifting risks and priorities, the conversation turned to the security implications of climate change. Below is a transcription of a question Dr. Treverton was asked on the subject, and his response. For more on the US intelligence community’s products on climate change and security, see the intelligence section of our Climate Security Resource Hub. (more…)

Climate in the U.S. 2014 National Intelligence Strategy

IC_wheel_Intelligence CommunityThe 2014 National Intelligence Strategy (NIS) was released this week. This is the third NIS, a strategy document developed approximately every four years. Director of National Intelligence, James Clapper, notes in the forward that “we are facing the most diverse set of threats I’ve seen in my 50 years in the intelligence business…We face significant changes in the domestic and global environment and must be ready to meet 21st century challenges and to recognize emerging opportunities.” Indeed, climate change is a unique “threat multiplier” that is likely to disrupt the security environment in complex ways, both predictably and otherwise. (more…)

Notable Climate and Security Publications of 2012

Temperature_globalThe year 2012 was the warmest year on record for the United States. It was also a year of extraordinary natural disasters in both the U.S., and abroad. Hurricane Sandy, for example, was the eleventh billion-dollar weather-related disaster for the U.S. in 2012, accompanied by unprecedented heat waves, droughts and tornadoes.  Tropical storms and flooding in East Asia, unexpected heavy rains and flooding in Somalia, Nigeria, and the Republic of Congo, 19 straight months of punishing drought in northern Brazil, are just a few examples of a very volatile year in terms of extreme weather events globally. The security implications of these, and other similar events, will certainly be a subject of study in the years to come, as will be their connections to climate change. (more…)

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