InterAgency Essay 14-01W, January 2014
by W. Chris King, Ph.D., P.E.
This essay analyzes the impacts of climate change on the security of the United States. Environmental security issues like climate change are a worldwide issue that will require a whole-of-government response. Interagency cooperation between the Environmental Protection Agency, Department of Energy, Department of State, Department of Defense, Department of Homeland Security, and the many agencies of the intelligence community will be essential.
The intent of this essay to assist military, defense, and other national security professionals to better understand environmental security issues by explaining how environmental issues such as climate change become national security issues. This essay addresses both the science of key environmental issues and the defense and security implications created by environmental issues such as climate change or freshwater water scarcity. This discussion will establish the link between climate change and other environmental security threats and strategic military planning.
This essay uses climate change, a key environmental security issue, to demonstrate the threats to peace and stability that the world now faces from human-induced changes to the environment. The changes are the result of exponential population growth, environmental degradation, and resource overuse. Using the Asia Pacific region as a model, this essay provides a process for analyzing environmental security. The environmental security analysis process demonstrated here is generally applicable worldwide.
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