ASP’s CEO Brigadier General Stephen Cheney has authored an op-ed for The Hill titled “Take it from the Military: Climate Security is National Security.” BGen. Cheney highlights the importance of incorporating climate security into national security strategy.
BGen. Cheney argues:
“President Trump has insisted that national security is his top priority, repeatedly pledging to protect Americans and equip our military to be the most effective in the world. However, Trump’s failure to act decisively on climate change puts Americans at more risk than ever before.”
With over 30 years of experience in the U.S. Marine Corps, BGen. Cheney addresses that America’s military leaders not have the luxury of ignoring the realities of climate change to score “political points.” He writes:
“They correctly recognize that climate change threatens vital American infrastructure, hampers our military’s readiness, accelerates instability across the globe, and puts American lives at risk.”
BGen. Cheney goes on to outline how extreme weather, such as storms, droughts, floods, and heat waves, are intensified by climate change. BGen. Cheney explains:
“America’s military bases, both at home and abroad, are directly threatened by more frequent and intense extreme weather events. The Department of Defense reported that more than 30 U.S. military installations currently face elevated levels of risk from rising sea levels.”
Extreme weather and climate change also threatens global security and act as a threat multiplier.
“These conditions create and exacerbate resource shortages and aggravate social and political tensions, fostering avenues for extremist ideologies and political instability to take hold. By failing to act on climate, we are creating a less stable, less secure international system and potentially putting U.S. troops and civilians in harm’s way.”
BGen. Cheney concludes with:
“We must do right by our service members by taking this threat to our national security seriously. To do so, we need policies that are guided by science and that put American lives ahead of special interests.”