Climate Change: Considerations for Geographic Combatant Commands   [open pdf - 3MB]

"Climate change is a national security issue that all geographic combatant commanders (GCCs) must consider as a challenge, and in some cases, an opportunity as they continuously assess risks and update their theater campaign plans to gain advantage in achieving their desired end-states. Not only must GCCs assess climate change impacts to U.S. operations from specific risks to force-employment supporting infrastructure; but, they should also assess the opportunities that exist to further international partnerships by supporting and coordinating with the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) as it carries out specific development mandates within its Global Climate Change Initiative. By doing so, GCCs will follow CJCS [Chairman, Joint Chiefs of Staff] Dempsey's guidance by turning climate change risk into an 'opportunity' to leverage the 'right tools' to enhance relationships with 'the right partners.' This paper will focus on the risks and opportunities for action specific to U.S. Southern Command (SOUTHCOM) as a 'case-study' useful for any GCC addressing Department of Defense's recent climate change adaptation guidance and for advancing the dialogue that took place during DoD's September 2014 Combatant Command Climate Security Information Exchange. "

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U.S. Army War College Peacekeeping Stability Operations Institute: https://pksoi.army.mil/
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