The Nexus of Energy, National Security, and Climate Change and Its Impact on the Armed Services

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Media Outlet: The Pew Charitable Trusts

First, the United States has an overwhelmingly powerful military, with the ability to move an iron mountain of capability anywhere, any time. But that does not mean we are without vulnerabilities or opportunity costs, and I worry that we are not fully taking those into account. Someday our military may well face an adversary that cannot only target our vehicles, ships, and planes with great precision and destructive power, but also our lifelines, including fuel and electricity. I hope to keep looking at what military and civilian leaders can do to better understand and deal with those vulnerabilities, as well as how they should anticipate and respond to climate change. The effects of climate change, especially in unstable regions of the world, will increasingly shape the geostrategic landscape, the operating environment, and military missions. The Pew project on national security, energy, and climate does a great job of looking at the confluence of these issues, and I’m excited about that.

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Sharon E. Burke is a senior advisor at New America, where she focuses on international security and a new program, Resource Security, which examines the intersection of security, prosperity, and natural resources.