Remote Sensing and Mass Migration Policy Development   [open pdf - 105KB]

"Mass migration is a global problem affecting both displaced persons, their countries of origin, and the nations that voluntarily or involuntarily receive them. The 2010 U.S. National Security Strategy recognized the domestic and international perils that refugees and the underlying causes for their dislocation represent and acknowledged that future conflicts caused by scarce resources, environmental disasters, or refugees were possible. In his Congressional testimony regarding the 2010 Threat Assessment, Director of National Intelligence Dennis Blair expressed concern about the prospect of mass migration from Cuba or Haiti to the United States. He also warned that population movements caused by climate change could have a negative impact in India, China, Southeast Asia, and Europe within 20 years, resulting in broad national security consequences for the United States. The National Reconnaissance Office (NRO) stands as one of the first lines of defense against these potential catastrophes. It develops, acquires, and operates U.S. satellite systems that conduct space reconnaissance by collecting the imagery intelligence, signals intelligence, and measurement and signature intelligence required by its customers, including those in both Department of Defense (DoD) and non-DoD U.S. government agencies. It thus fulfills critical requirements necessary for the formulation of national strategy. Its national sensor systems provide the means to gather information beyond that required for military operations. The 2000 congressionally-chartered National Commission for the Review of the National Reconnaissance Office recommended the NRO 'focus on innovation' to preclude intelligence failures that 'have a direct influence on strategic choices facing the nation.' The NRO should therefore initiate procedures to identify and measure triggers for mass human migration and proactively participate in interagency forums developing policy pertaining to such events."

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U.S. Department of the Air Force Air and Space Power Journal: http://www.airpower.au.af.mil/
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