Published on May 9th, 2017 | by Joshua S Hill0
US Military & Security Leaders Call On Tillerson & Mattis To Lead On Climate Security
May 9th, 2017 by Joshua S Hill
With the internal White House debate over whether to remain in or pull out of the Paris Agreement heating up, a bipartisan group of 20 retired senior military officers and national security experts have signed companion joint letters urging US Secretary of State Rex Tillerson and Secretary of Defense James Mattis to lead on addressing the security implications of climate change.
The two letters were organized by the Center for Climate and Security (CCS), a policy institute with an Advisory Board made up of distinguished military, security, and foreign policy experts dedicated to raising awareness of the security implications stemming from climate change. With tensions increasing inside the White House between the “globalist cucks” who are advising President Trump to remain with the Paris Agreement, and the nationalists who want to scarper, Tillerson and Mattis have emerged as two leading voices advocating the United States remain a signatory. However, according to reports last week, it appears as if the nationalists are winning, with the United States likely to either downgrade its commitment, or bail entirely.
It is fortuitous timing, then, that a group of 20 retired senior military officers and national security officers have signed companion joint letters to two of the leading faces advocating the United States remain as part of the Paris Agreement.
In the letter to Secretary Tillerson, the signatories call on him to show leadership in “all important international forums where climate risks are being discussed and addressed.”
“As Secretary Mattis himself recently stated, ‘…climate change is a challenge that requires a broader, whole-of government response.’ The State Department’s role in that whole of government response will be crucial in the days, months and years ahead. That role includes acting as a leader on the issue among the international community – not least as that leadership can aid us in advancing our other vital security interests. That includes leadership in all important international forums where climate risks are being discussed and addressed.”
The second letter, to Secretary Mattis, reminded him that the “Department of Defense (DoD) and the intelligence community have been aware of this “threat multiplier,” and taking actions to address it, since the early years of the George W. Bush Administration.”
“To date, your leadership on this issue has been clear. We support you in continuing that leadership by maintaining and implementing a comprehensive DoD policy to adapt to a changing climate, to enhance the resilience of our armed forces, and to prepare for these risks in the global operating environment.”
The specifics of the role climate change has on security has been well-established of late, most recently in a new report from independent think-tank adelphi. Published last month, the report outlined the increasing impacts and effects of climate change as a threat-multiplier of violent conflict and fragility. The report highlighted two main mechanisms by which climate change acts to facilitate the rise and growth of non-state armed groups (read: terrorist organizations): by contributing to fragility and increasing the tension over natural resources and livelihood insecurity; and negatively impacting the livelihoods of people, who in turn then are forced to rely on what can be offered by these non-state armed groups.