Generating Opportunity in a Climate Changed Environment
[Technical Report, Monograph]
ARMY COMMAND AND GENERAL STAFF COLLEGE FORT LEAVENWORTH KS
Pagination or Media Count:
Climate change is altering the physical environment that people rely on for everyday life. When environmental change threatens the survival of large groups of people, governments must respond to prevent conflict and maintain stability. How does this threat translate into opportunities for adversaries to gain influence and weaken US power The Syrian Civil War offers a sobering case study translating climate change induced drought into internal conflict, and ultimately into an arena of great power competition. Complexity is the key to linking the Syrian causal chain of climate-people-conflict-strategic competition, and provides insights to future threats. Unexpected environmental changes destabilize societies in fragile states, opening the door to outside intervention. If adversaries such as Russia or China take the open door the United States stands to lose influence. Climate change is a real, multi-faceted threat that cannot simply be stopped in the near-term. Syria is just one glaring example of the threat, as numerous scenarios are manifesting now, and dozens more will appear unexpectedly. Planning for climate change scenarios is essential to maintaining US strategic advantage in the competitive world. The primary method to achieving this is partnering with all at-risk nations, while also focusing military planners on likely climate scenarios.
- Military Operations, Strategy and Tactics