“…the national security community considers climate change a “threat multiplier” (a term first coined by CNA’s Military Advisory Board) or an “accelerant of instability” as its characterized in the FY2010 Quadrennial Defense Review report conducted by the U.S. Department of Defense (DoD). This means that climate change exacerbates, or heightens, other threats to the United States.
Climate change as a “threat multiplier” manifests itself through both direct and indirect threats to the United States.”
“The U.S. national security community doesn’t have the luxury of waiting for 100% certainty. There is a high enough degree of certainty that climate change is, and has the capacity to be, a multiplier of direct and indirect threats to the United States. That’s why U.S. national security planners put time, personnel and resources into mitigating, and adapting to, its effects. Climate change as a security threat is not just a narrative, or a political talking point. It’s a reality. The U.S. military and the U.S. intelligence community get it. Our policymakers should too. And while a recent U.S. Senate hearing on “Extreme Weather Events: The Costs of Not Being Prepared.” is a welcome recognition of this risk, the U.S. will need to go a lot further than that.”
~Francesco Femia and Caitlin E. Werrell
Co-Founders and Directors of the Center for Climate and Security