DoD Report on Climate Change and Its Impact on National Security

By Ken Pole

The US Department of Defense (DoD) has found that 53 of its military installations around the world are increasingly vulnerable to the effects of climate change over the next two decades.

A total of 79 installations were selected for a special survey, budgeted at $329,000, which indicated that the effects should be considered an issue of national security with potential impacts on DoD missions and operations as well as the installations themselves. The survey, as requested by Congress, included 35 Air Force Bases, 20 Army and 19 Navy while five others involve other DoD activities.

The results, presented recently, showed that recurrent flooding has been an issue at 15 bases, drought exposure at 43, and wildfire risk at 36. The report further noted that 7 installations listed as not currently vulnerable to impacts from recurrent flooding, are nonetheless expected to be vulnerable in the future.

Thawing permafrost in polar installations is another identified threat.

The report highlights that climate change can affect the U.S. military’s state of readiness to handle operations at home and abroad and also that there will be a need for more maintenance and repair budget going forward.

This article was first published by Front Line Defence on February 5, 2019.