The Pentagon is ordering the top brass to incorporate climate change into virtually everything they do, from testing weapons to training troops to war planning to joint exercises with allies.
A new directive’s theme: The U.S. Armed Forces must show “resilience” and beat back the threat based on “actionable science.”
It says the military will not be able to maintain effectiveness unless the directive is followed. It orders the establishment of a new layer of bureaucracy — a wide array of “climate change boards, councils and working groups” to infuse climate change into “programs, plans and policies.”
The Pentagon defines resilience to climate change as: “Ability to anticipate, prepare for, and adapt to changing conditions and withstand, respond to, and recover rapidly from disruptions.”
To four-star generals and admirals, among them the regional combatant commanders who plan and fight the nation’s wars, the directive tells them: “Incorporate climate change impacts into plans and operations and integrate DoD guidance and analysis in Combatant Command planning to address climate change-related risks and opportunities across the full range of military operations, including steady-state campaign planning and operations and contingency planning.”
The directive, “Climate Change Adaptation and Resilience,” is in line with President Obama’s view that global warming is the country’s foremost national security threat, or close to it. Mr. Obama says there is no debate on the existence of man-made global warming and its ensuing climate change. Supporters of this viewpoint label as “deniers” any scientists who disagree.
But there are stubborn doubters. A climate center in Colorado has said its researchers looked at decades of weather reports and concluded there has been no uptick in storms. The United Nations came to a similar finding, saying there is not enough evidence to confirm an increase in droughts and floods.
A previous Pentagon report on climate change attributed Super Storm Sandy to climate change.
Dakota Wood, a retired Marine Corps officer and U.S. Central Command planner, said the Pentagon is introducing climate change, right down to military tactics level.
“By equating tactical actions of immediate or short-term utility with large-scale, strategic-level issues of profound importance, the issue of climate change and its potential impact on national security interests is undermined,” he said. “People tend to dismiss the whole, what might be truly important, because of all the little silly distractions that are included along the way.” […]
Climate change must be integrated in:
* Weapons buying and testing “across the life cycle of weapons systems, platforms and equipment.”
* Training ranges and capabilities.
* Defense intelligence surveillance and reconnaissance.
* Defense education and training.
* Combatant commander joint training with allies to “assess the risks to U.S. security interests posed by climate change.”
* Joint Chiefs of Staff collaboration “with allies and partners to optimize joint exercises and war games including factors contributing to geopolitical and socioeconomic instability.”
Mr. Wood, now a military analyst at The Heritage Foundation, said the directive is muddled.
“I understand the motivation behind and intent for such guidance,” he said. “The problem is that it includes such a wide variety of issues with no explication or context that enables the offices mentioned to differentiate and prioritize activities and efforts across time or intensity.”