Pentagon QDR Take Climate Change Seriously

Quadrennial Defense Review raises specter of strife induced by climate change and its political and military implications.

Published: 07-Feb-2010

ctober, considered how global warming might affect American national security, noting that there is “growing concern in Washington” that it could destabilize governments and societies all over the world.

The “clearest evidence that [Washington] is taking climate change seriously as a security threat,” wrote at the time, “will come in February, when the Pentagon issues its Quadrennial Defense Review to Congress.” [Download Feb 2010 QDR]

The QDR, which is considered the most important long-term national security strategy document the military produces, was released this week. It’s remarkable for how much of it is dedicated to climate change and how directly the authors — who represent every branch of the military — address the issue.

“Climate change and energy are two key issues that will play a significant role in shaping the future security environment,” the QDR declares. “Although they produce distinct types of challenges, climate change, energy security, and economic stability are inextricably linked.”


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