[Rushtalk] Pentagon orders commanders to prioritize climate change in all military actions
lynux at keepandbeararms.com
Fri Mar 4 12:18:20 MST 2016
Pentagon orders commanders to prioritize climate change
in all military actions
By Rowan Scarborough - February 7, 2016
The Pentagon is ordering the top brass to incorporate
climate change into virtually everything they do, from
testing weapons to training troops to war planning to
joint exercises with allies.
A new directive’s theme: The U.S. Armed Forces must show
“resilience” and beat back the threat based on
It says the military will not be able to maintain
effectiveness unless the directive is followed.It orders
the establishment of a new layer of bureaucracy — a wide
array of “climate change boards, councils and working
groups” to infuse climate change into “programs, plans
The Pentagon defines resilience to climate change as:
“Ability to anticipate, prepare for, and adapt to
changing conditions and withstand, respond to, and
recover rapidly from disruptions.”
To four-star generals and admirals, among them the
regional combatant commanders who plan and fight the
nation’s wars, the directive tells them: “Incorporate
climate change impacts into plans and operations and
integrate DoD guidance and analysis in Combatant Command
planning to address climate change-related risks and
opportunities across the full range of military
operations, including steady-state campaign planning and
operations and contingency planning.”
The directive, “Climate Change Adaptation and
Resilience,” is in line with President Obama’s view that
global warming is the country’s foremost national
security threat, or close to it. Mr. Obama says there is
no debate on the existence of man-made global warming
and its ensuing climate change. Supporters of this
viewpoint label as “deniers” any scientists who
But there are stubborn doubters. A climate center
in Colorado has said its researchers looked at decades
of weather reports and concluded there has been no
uptick in storms. The United Nations came to a similar
finding, saying there is not enough evidence to confirm
an increase in droughts and floods.
A previous Pentagon report on climate change attributed
Super Storm Sandy to climate change.
Dakota Wood, a retired Marine Corps officer and U.S.
Central Command planner, said the Pentagon is
introducing climate change, right down to military
“By equating tactical actions of immediate or short-term
utility with large-scale, strategic-level issues of
profound importance, the issue of climate change and its
potential impact on national security interests is
undermined,” he said. “People tend to dismiss the whole,
what might be truly important, because of all the little
silly distractions that are included along the way.”
He said climate change is typically measured in long
stretches of time.
“The climate does change over great periods of time,
typically measured in millennia, though sometimes in
centuries,” he said. “But the document mentions
accounting for such down to the level of changes in
‘tactics, techniques and procedures’ as if reviewing how
a squad conducts a patrol should be accorded the same
level of importance and attention as determining whether
the naval base at Norfolk, Virginia, might have to be
relocated as sea levels rise over the next 100 years.”
The directive originated in the office of Frank Kendall,
undersecretary of defense for acquisition, technology
and logistics. Final approval came from Deputy Defense
Secretary Robert O. Work.
The directive is loaded with orders to civilian leaders
and officers on specifically how counter-climate change
strategy is to permeate planning.
“This involves deliberate preparation, close
cooperation, and coordinated planing by DoD to provide
for the continuity of DoD operations, services and
programs,” it states.
“The DoD must be able to adapt current and future
operations to address the impacts of climate change in
order to maintain an effective and
efficient U.S. military,” it adds. “Mission planning and
execution must include anticipating and managing any
risks that develop as a result of climate change to
Climate change must be integrated in:
• Weapons buying and testing “across the life cycle of
weapons systems, platforms and equipment.”
• Training ranges and capabilities.
• Defense intelligence surveillance and reconnaissance.
• Defense education and training.
• Combatant commander joint training with allies to
“assess the risks to U.S. security interests posed by
• Joint Chiefs of Staff collaboration “with allies and
partners to optimize joint exercises and war games
including factors contributing to geopolitical and
Mr. Wood, now a military analyst at The Heritage
Foundation, said the directive is muddled.
“I understand the motivation behind and intent for such
guidance,” he said. “The problem is that it includes
such a wide variety of issues with no explication or
context that enables the offices mentioned to
differentiate and prioritize activities and efforts
across time or intensity.”
‘A lack of evidence’
The Department of Defense last issued a broad directive
on climate change in July. It declared climate change an
“urgent and growing threat to our national security” and
blamed it for “increased natural disasters.”
The report also told commanders there are “more frequent
and/or severe extreme weather events that may require
substantial involvement of DoD units, personnel and
assets in humanitarian assistance and disaster relief.”
This assertion is not supported by the U.N.’s most
recent global warming predictions.
Roger Pielke Jr., a professor of environmental studies
at the Center for Science and Technology Police Research
at the University of Colorado, also has come to
conclusions at odds with the Obama administration. He
has testified on Capitol Hill, clashing with liberals
who say his data are wrong.
“Current datasets indicate no significant observed
trends in global tropical cyclone frequency over the
past century,” he wrote in 2013. “No robust trends in
annual numbers of tropical storms, hurricanes and major
hurricanes counts have been identified over the past 100
years in the North Atlantic basin.
“In summary, there continues to be a lack of evidence
and thus low confidence regarding the sign of trend in
the magnitude and/or frequency of floods on a global
Rep. Raul M. Grijalva, Arizona Democrat, tried to
silence Mr. Pielke by unleashing allegations and
starting an investigation.
Fellow scientists have come to Mr. Pielke’s defense and
accused Democrats of violating academic freedom.
“Congressman Grijalva doesn’t have any evidence of any
wrongdoing on my part, either ethical or legal, because
there is none,” Mr. Pielke wrote on a blog. “He simply
disagrees with the substance of my testimony — which
is based on peer-reviewed research funded by
the U.S. taxpayer, and which also happens to be the
consensus of the IPCC.”
The IPCC is the U.N.’s Intergovernmental Panel on
“I have no funding, declared or undeclared, with any
fossil fuel company or interest. I never have. Rep.
Grijalva knows this too, because when I have testified
before the U.S. Congress, I have disclosed my funding
and possible conflicts of interest,” Mr. Pielke said.
“So I know with complete certainty that this
investigation is a politically motivated ‘witch hunt’
designed to intimidate me [and others] and to smear my
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