The U.S. military says climate change 'poses immediate risks to U.S. national security'

The U.S. military says climate change 'poses immediate risks to U.S. national security'
(Image credit: Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images)

The U.S. military has considered climate change a national security threat for years, and has been working to reduce its massive carbon footprint by using alternative fuels, for example. But in a report released Monday, the Pentagon for the first time said global warming is a security threat right now. "Climate change will affect the Department of Defense's ability to defend the nation and poses immediate risks to U.S. national security," the 20-page 2014 Climate Change Adaptation Roadmap begins.

Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel reiterated the point at a defense summit in Peru. "We must be clear-eyed about the security threats presented by climate change," he told his fellow defense ministers, "and we must be proactive in addressing them." He added that warming temperatures are a "threat multiplier," exacerbating existing problems from "infectious disease to armed insurgencies," plus new security issues in the future.

Subscribe to The Week

Escape your echo chamber. Get the facts behind the news, plus analysis from multiple perspectives.

SUBSCRIBE & SAVE
https://cdn.mos.cms.futurecdn.net/flexiimages/jacafc5zvs1692883516.jpg

Sign up for The Week's Free Newsletters

From our morning news briefing to a weekly Good News Newsletter, get the best of The Week delivered directly to your inbox.

From our morning news briefing to a weekly Good News Newsletter, get the best of The Week delivered directly to your inbox.

Sign up
To continue reading this article...
Continue reading this article and get limited website access each month.
Get unlimited website access, exclusive newsletters plus much more.
Cancel or pause at any time.
Already a subscriber to The Week?
Not sure which email you used for your subscription? Contact us