Is Climate Change a National Security Threat?

climate change security threat

Excerpts from 

Earlier this month, the director of national intelligence released its 2019 Worldwide Threat Assessment, which concluded that “Global environmental and ecological degradation, as well as climate change, are likely to fuel competition for resources, economic distress, and social discontent through 2019 and beyond. Climate hazards such as extreme weather, higher temperatures, droughts, floods, wildfires, storms, sea level rise, soil degradation, and acidifying oceans are intensifying, threatening infrastructure, health, and water and food security.”

The report listed specific threats posed by climate change, such as the threat of rising sea levels to the safety of low-lying military installations and the likelihood that increased drought and flooding could lead to mass human displacement and increased conflict. The report concluded that climate-driven food shortages could increase “the risk of social unrest, migration, and interstate tension in countries such as Egypt, Ethiopia, Iraq and Jordan.”

Excerpts from 2019 Worldwide Threat Assessment

“The states of East Africa will confront internal tension and a continuing threat from al-Shabaab, despite improved intergovernmental relations and Ethiopian-Eritrean rapprochement. Elite competition, corruption, and poor coordination among security services in Somalia will hamper efforts to tamp down violence. The African Union Mission in Somalia (AMISOM) is unlikely to engage in aggressive offensive operations against al-Shabaab in advance of the mission’s scheduled withdrawal from Somalia by 2021. Ethiopia and Eritrea will struggle to balance political control with demands for reform from domestic constituencies.”

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