Troops from three California National Guard companies search a fire-ravaged neighborhood in Santa Rosa, California on October 14, 2017.
David McNew | Getty Images
Climate change poses a serious threat to US military operations and will create new sources of global political conflict, the Department of Defense wrote in its new Climate adaptation plan in this week.
Water scarcity could become a major source of friction or conflict between the US military overseas and the countries where troops are stationed, the department warned. She also expects that political efforts to curb food and water scarcity will lead to more frequent physical and cyber terrorist attacks by unknown third parties.
Extreme weather events aggravated by climate change, including droughts, storms and floods, have already cost the ministry billions of dollars, according to plan. An increase in extreme weather events will increase the demand for US troops while damaging military bases, compromising operational capabilities, and endangering soldiers.
Countries that endure conflict are disproportionately exposed to climate change. More than a dozen nations threatened by global warming are also embroiled in conflict. according to an index from the Notre Dame Global Adaptation Initiative. The combination exacerbates food and economic insecurity and weakens the ability of governments to provide assistance, the International Committee of the Red Cross said in a recent report.
“Climate change is an existential threat to our nation’s security and the Department of Defense must act quickly and boldly to meet this challenge and prepare for harm that cannot be avoided,” said Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin. said in a statement.
“Our armed forces struggle every day with the severe and growing consequences of climate change, from hurricanes and forest fires that cause costly damage to US facilities and limit our ability to train and operate, to dangerous heat, drought and floods that can and do trigger crises Instability all over the world, “he said.
The Department of Defense was among the 20 federal agencies that Climate adaptation plans presented this week, exposing the greatest global warming threats to their operations and facilities and making suggestions on how to deal with them.
Shortly after taking office, President Joe Biden gave the authorities four months to develop plans as part of a nationwide approach to tackling climate change. The main themes in all plans include protecting workers from extreme heat events and strengthening supply chains against extreme weather conditions.
Climate change has made troop safety an important issue. Have at least 17 troops died of exposure to heat while exercising at U.S. military bases since 2008says the Pentagon.
Secretary of Defense Lloyd J. Austin testifies to the House Armed Services Committee on the completion of military operations in Afghanistan at the Rayburn House Office Building on Capitol Hill in Washington, DC, September 29, 2021.
Olivier Douliery | Swimming pool | Reuters
Training troops to operate in increasingly extreme weather conditions could also give the US a distinct advantage over its enemies, as “forces can operate in conditions where others seek protection or go down,” according to the plan.
The department said it has committed to using climate information to educate military planners about where and how military assets are at risk. It was recently released as a Climate assessment tool creates hazard indicators based on data from past extreme weather events and the effects of future sea level changes, floods, droughts, heat, soil degradation, energy demands and forest fires.
“We must take on these challenges as a team – from every corner of the Pentagon, on every one of our installations and bases, across the federal government, and together with our partners and allies,” said Austin.