Triangle Institute for Security Studies informs debate on national security threats posed by climate change

Few policymakers deny that global warming is taking place, but lively debate still surrounds what impact it will have. The U.S. military is increasingly focused on the national security threats posed by climate change, and video from a recent conference co-sponsored by the Triangle Institute for Security Studies and the U.S. Army War College is helping to move the national and international dialogue on these threats forward.

The March 30-31 conference, “Global Climate Change: National Security Implications,” examined the nature and extent of security threats posed by climate change, while offering potential solutions and promoting discussion among military officers, scholars and policymakers about the problems and possibilities we face. News articles referring to the groundbreaking conference have appeared in newspapers such as The Washington Post and Le Monde.

On April 17, a report from a diverse group of retired senior admirals and generals laid out ways changes in Earth’s climate could lead to massive migration, increased border tensions, and conflicts over essential resources like food and water, thus posing serious threats to U.S. national security. The Senate Foreign Relations Committee requested information about the TISS conference and its proceedings for a May 9 hearing on the report, titled “National Security and the Threat of Climate Change.”

Conference panelists included retired Maj. Gen. William L. Nash, Council on Foreign Relations; Spencer R. Weart, American Institute of Physics; and John T. Ackerman, Air Command and Staff College. The keynote speaker was retired Gen. Paul Kern.

Complete video proceedings from the conference are available on the TISS website.