Retired Generals, Admirals Warn Climate Change Is a ‘National Security Concern’

by Andrew Johnson

More than a dozen retired senior military figures have released a report calling climate change a threat as serious as terrorism and the nuclear threat from the Soviet Union during the Cold War.

The 16 former three- and four-star generals and admirals who serve on the CNA Corporation’s Military Advisory Board warn that climate change is a leading national-security threat, calling it “a catalyst for conflict” in the future unless the issue is addressed. The report says climate change will have an impact on ”military readiness, strain base resilience both at home and abroad, and may limit our ability to respond to future demands.”

Additionally, the report predicts climate change will “threaten major sectors of the U.S. economy.”

In the beginning of the report, the officials detail their backgrounds in service — ranging “from containment and deterrence of the Soviet nuclear threat during the Cold War to political extremism and transnational terrorism” — and say that climate change could be just as bad. “The national security risks of projected climate change are as serious as any challenges we have faced,” they write.

The new report is a follow-up to a 2007 one from the board that concluded with similar findings. The latest report say the world is “becoming more complex” therefore there is increasing urgency to address climate change.