United States Army War College Implications of Climate Change for the U.S. Army

If climate change is real then the U.S. government and military institutions have to take action. Are preparations being made by the U.S. military? What about civilian preparation? This report covers only Army plans. The obvious first questions are about the safety of the military facilities that exist in low coastal areas.

If those areas flood, what will the civilian population do? What role will the military play in mass migrations? How will the fuel be allocated? and food? and medical care? How will power outages be managed? Do we even know how many people will be displaced by climate change flooding? How will we manage refugees, i.e. shelter, food, health care, relocation planning, family services? 

United States Army War College Implications of Climate Change for t...

https://climateandsecurity.files.wordpress.com/2019/07/implications...

"1. THE ARMY INSTITUTION

1.1 Problem: The Lack of a Culture of Environmental Stewardship.

1.2 Problem: Potential disruptions to readiness due to restrictions on fuel use.

2. THE JOINT FORCE AND DoD

2.1 Problem: Lack of coordination and consolidation in climate-change-related intelligence.

2.2 Problem: Lack of Organizational Accountability for and Coordination of Climate Change-Related Response and Mitigation Activities.

2.3 Problem: Lack of Climate Change-Oriented Campaign Planning and Preparation.

3. NATIONAL CONTEXT

3.1 Problem: Power Grid Vulnerabilities.

3.2 Problem: Climate Change and Threats to Nuclear Weapons Infrastructure."

"Finally, the study examined the threat climate change poses to the U.S. military’s coastal infrastructure, i.e., coastal military facilities and key airports and shipping facilities. Additionally, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (USACE) manages the nation’s system of inland waterways, and the condition of much of that system will be affected by rising seas and changing weather. That said, the study found no basis for additional action. The DoD and USACE have adequate systems and processes in place to track and manage these risks.

Figure 1: Climate Change Risk / Response Matrix

Is climate change occurring?               Yes!      No!

Are mitigation and Preparation made? Yes!      No!

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"The United States Department of Defense (DoD, USDOD or DOD) is an executive branch department of the federal government charged with coordinating and supervising all agencies and functions of the government directly related to national security and the United States Armed Forces."

If the study found no basis for additional action, then what assurance do we have that DoD and USACE are prepared for civilian protection and security?

How has DoD and USACE performed in the past?  

"On August 29, 2005, there were over 50 failures of the levees and floodwalls protecting New Orleans and its suburbs following the passage of Hurricane Katrina and landfall in Mississippi. The levee and floodwall failures caused flooding in 80% of New Orleans and all of St. Bernard Parish. Tens of billions of gallons of water spilled into vast areas of New Orleans, flooding over 100,000 homes and businesses. Responsibility for the design and construction of the levee system belongs to the United States Army Corps of Engineers."

"There were six major breaches in Orleans Parish"

"Storm surge caused breaches in 20 places on the Mississippi River-Gulf Outlet Canal in Saint Bernard Parish, flooding the entire parish and the East Bank of Plaquemines Parish."

"Four major investigations were conducted by civil engineers and other experts in an attempt to identify the underlying reasons for the failure of the federal flood protection system. All concur that the primary cause of the flooding was inadequate design and construction by the Corps of Engineers."

"The past is prologue," or so writes William Shakespeare from his play The Tempest. 

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Donald Trump deals at least somewhat in politics, though more in his own warped view of the world.  The Department of Defense deals in REALITY, and there is very little more real in this moment than the matter of anthropogenic climate change.  If they are making long-range strategic plans which allow for climate change (and I believe that they are), then at least SOMEONE in the federal government has their head on straight.

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