Climate Issues Tied to U.S. Security
By Walter Pincus Washington Post Staff Writer Thursday, June 26, 2008; A02
U.S. intelligence agencies have concluded that global climate change will worsen food shortages and disease exposure in sub-Saharan Africa over the next two decades, creating operational problems for the Pentagon's newest overseas military command.
"Without food aid, the region will likely face higher levels of instability, particularly violent ethnic clashes over land ownership," probably creating "extensive and novel operational requirements," for the fledgling U.S. Africa Command, according to a National Intelligence Assessment on the security implications of climate change by the National Intelligence Council.
No one really knows what the Pentagon actually spends on hardware, not even the Pentagon. As Rumsfeld famously said on the day before 9-11, they can't even find a thousand-billion in expenditures.
They have misplaced enough money to fund entirely the rest of the planet's military spending for two and a half years.
Yet President George W. Bush's Pentagon spending request for the new fiscal year, 2008, is above $660 billion, up 20% from up 20% from up 20% and still the ravenous complain. Not all hunger is related to food.
. . . Overall, the assessment found that while the United States "is better equipped than most nations to deal with climate change," the impact on other countries has the "potential to seriously affect U.S. national security interests." Humanitarian disasters, economic migration, food and water shortages -- all caused by climate change -- will pressure other countries to respond. Such demands "may significantly tax U.S. military transportation and support force structures, resulting in a strained readiness posture," the assessment found.
Readiness for what?
Does this mean we may finally begin to reverse the ecologic disaster that has been, for the most part, due to our making? Certainly not for humanitarian or economic or health or reasons of the decline of the planet's diversity--but because we can no longer fight in a diminished arena.
Save the Earth--it's a military duty.
. . . Fingar said Africa is most vulnerable "because of multiple environmental, economic, political and social stresses." While no country will avoid climate change, the report said, "most of the struggling and poor states that will suffer adverse impacts to their potential and economic security," are in the Middle East, central and southeast Asia, and sub-Saharan Africa.
It's been pretty obvious, as Africa starves, is decimated by HIV and struggles with the likes of Zimbabwe's Robert Mugabe, that we don't really give a rat's ass what happens to the poor of the world, particularly in Africa. That of course, was before we actually had an Africa Command--a name that is of itself an indicator of what plans we have for Africa. One can but wonder how well received a Chinese or Russian Americas Command would be by Washington? But that is the grist for another mill.
. . . The United States must "plan for growing immigration pressures," the report said, in part because almost a fourth of the countries with the greatest percentage of low-level coastal zones are in the Caribbean. The report noted that many U.S. military installations near the coast will be at "increasing risk of damage" from floods in coming years.
We can no doubt deal with the immigration issues by adding a few feet to our Immigration Wall and upgrading technology as it becomes available. The clear and present danger is to American 2nd and 3rd homes in such formerly lovely places as Bermuda, Jamaica and Barbados. The 27,000 families in the U.S. with a net worth over $30 million are going to shit a brick when they become Iowa-like flood victims.
. . . The proposal for an intelligence assessment on climate change originated with Rep. Anna G. Eshoo (D-Calif.), a member of the House intelligence panel, who added it to the fiscal 2008 intelligence authorization bill. During last year's debate, GOP lawmakers said the work would divert analysts from the terrorist threat and the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, but Director of National Intelligence Mike McConnell sent Eshoo a letter saying the subject was "appropriate."
Iraq and Afghanistan? You mean those island nations?