The Pentagon as a first responder
| 02.20.2008 | 11:09:54 | Views: 2959 | ID:
February 20 '08: In the Financial Times, John Podesta from the Center for American Progress wrote that the US military will have five "key areas" to confront when facing the challenges posed by climate change. In many cases, Podesta wrote, the Pentagon will be the world's most capable first responder when helping affected communities afflicted by disasters.
"Recall the Indian Ocean tsunami that struck a little more than three years ago," Podesta wrote. "Only the US could or would so rapidly have deployed and sustained 15,000 troops, two dozen ships and 100 aircraft needed for the mission. But if the US military anticipates being called up on more often to respond to such disasters then it needs clarity about how soon it should invest more resources into planning such missions."Last November, the Center for Strategic & International Studies released their report "The Age of Consequences: The Foreign Policy and National Security Implications of Global Climate Change" which found that as the world's climate changes, so too will the challenges facing the US military and DHS. Additionally, because of current overseas commitments, National Guard forces are not as able to respond to domestic natural disasters. "The Pentagon might need to begin helping to create a state-level home guard to take over domestic disaster duties from the National Guard," Podesta wrote. The five challenges Podesta identified are: the capability of many third world nations effectively addressing climate change and as a result having a breakdown in their domestic security; how much and how far the Pentagon should go in becoming a global first responder to help mitigate these challenges; the need to train for operations in increasingly "adverse" weather conditions; repositioning naval bases because of rising oceanic waters; and the role of the National Guard in responding to domestic natural disasters. In a report released by the State Department, President Bush said that "Energy security and climate change are two of the greatest challenges of our time. The World's response will help shape the future of the global economy and the conditions of our environment for future generations." National Blueprint Tags: Legal & Intergovernmental, Response and Containment, Reports Index.
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