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Secretary Gates: National Security Implications of Climate Change “Very Real”

Announcement of new Secretary of Defense.

Gates accepts nomination as Sec of Def from Bush, White House photo by Paul Morse

Former Secretary of Defense Robert Gates (serving as Secretary of Defense under both George W. Bush and Barack Obama) recently sat down for an interview with CBS’s Face the Nation. Host John Dickerson asked Secretary Gates about his views on the national security implications of climate change. The interview is transcribed below, but in short, Secretary Gates noted that climate change does have serious consequences for national security. Gates also noted that ranking risks is not an appropriate way to look at the security landscape. We agree (see “Is Climate Change the Biggest Security Threat?” Is Still A Bad Question). The sooner we stop asking, “Is climate a national security issue?” and start asking, “How will climate change impact our national security priorities?” the better off we will be. Secretary Gates is spot on. (more…)