Pentagon: Military ‘Not Ready’ for Climate Change Impacts

A senior Pentagon official says the U.S. military is “not ready” for the impacts of climate change, including more drought and flooding. In a public event sponsored by the Army War College’s Office of…

Pentagon: Military 'Not Ready' for Climate Change Impacts

A senior Pentagon official says the U.S. military is “not ready” for the impacts of climate change, including more drought and flooding.

In a public event sponsored by the Army War College’s Office of War Studies, Lt. Gen. Paul Nakasone, deputy assistant secretary of defense for power projection, said the military will have to adapt to such changes.

“People think we’re science geeks, trying to figure out the causes and effects of climate change. And that is a bit of a misperception,” he said. “We think about climate change just like we think about defense issues. You want to understand it. You want to plan for it. You want to equip yourself so you’re ready for it.”

Nakasone said the U.S. military isn’t able to foresee how events in the climate system, such as an ice melt in Greenland that then could lead to more precipitation in the U.S., will play out, according to Politico.

“A lot of times we get stuck in the short-term. If something happens in the world today that we want to prepare for in the next year, we have to think about what’s going to happen next week, next month or next year,” he said. “Climate change is going to depend on the ecology of the planet over a period of time. So how long do we have to wait to prepare for it?”

The U.S. military hopes that “a worldwide adaptation strategy for adaptive warfare,” is developed to cope with such changes, which also may affect armies, police forces and emergency-response organizations worldwide.

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