Center for Strategic Communication

New ASP Report: Climate Security

Climate Security Report

Climate change poses a clear and present danger to the United States through its effects on our global allies as well as its direct effects on our agriculture, infrastructure, economy and public health.
This report aims to move past the current debate about climate change and towards a real, informed discussion about its security implications—both global and domestic.


Climate change is real: we see its impacts every day, around the world. A melting Arctic, unprecedented droughts across the world, extreme examples of flooding, and uncontrollable wildfires are all examples of the changing climate. These present a greater challenge than just new and different weather patterns.


Climate change will exacerbate regional and local tensions in ‘hot-zones’ around the world. In these regions, the impacts of a changing climate will act as an accelerant of instability by multiplying problems like water scarcity, food shortages, and overpopulation.


America’s national security leaders agree that climate change is a threat to national security, because it will affect global stability and humanitarian crises around the world. However, American policymakers often overlook that the U.S. should lead in climate change adaptation and mitigation because the U.S. homeland is directly threatened by climate change as well.

Climate Change, The Arab Spring and Food Prices

Climate change is inextricably linked to national security. The effects of climate change – drought, severe storms, flooding, reduced agricultural activity – will present serious problems to countries around the world. In particular, climate change will undermine stability in certain “hot spots,” exacerbating underlying tensions that already exist.

Military Basing and Climate Change

Climate change poses significant long-term national security threats to the United States. Drought, severe storms, floods, and altered natural resource availability are just some of the consequences of climate change. However, not only will the effects of climate change threaten civilian populations, but they will also put U.S. military installations at risk.

ASP Fact Sheet

American Security: The Impacts of Climate Change

Climate change poses significant long-term national security threats to the United States. Drought, severe storms, floods, altered agricultural productivity and disease are just some of the consequences of climate change. ASP’s fact sheet, “American Security: The Impacts of Climate Change,” describes the connection between climate change and national security, the potential threats around the globe, and the vulnerabilities America faces at home

ASP in the News

Politico Morning Defense Highlights ASP Climate Security Report

Military installations across the globe are vulnerable to “extreme weather, rising sea levels, coastal erosion and other effects of climate change,” according to a report out today by the American Security Project. “In order to prepare for these changes and to secure our military investments worldwide, the U.S. must invest in low-cost adaptation options, which are effective and multidimensional,” the report says.

Politico Morning Energy Features New ASP Report

Our colleague Austin Wright at Morning Defense got his hands on an American Security Project paper coming out today and kindly shared it with me. The report concludes sea level rise and other climate change-related environmental threats could spell bad news for military facilities.

National Defense Magazine Focuses on New ASP Climate Security Report

“The effects of climate change on infrastructure will not only be costly to our nation’s economy, they will also make us less secure as a nation,” concludes the 2012 “Climate Security Report,” scheduled to be released Nov. 1 by the American Security Project.

What We Are Reading

Janet Napolitano warns of cyberattack on utilities

Tony Romm/Politico

A debilitating cyberattack on power plants or water systems could produce the same sort of rampant outages and widespread disruptions caused by Hurricane Sandy, Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano warned Wednesday.

Harry Reid to Revisit Cyber Security Bill After Election

Andrea Shalal-Esa/Reuters

Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid hopes to reintroduce cyber security legislation opposed by business groups once lawmakers return after Tuesday’s election, a Senate aide said, adding that a White House executive order might pave the way for a compromise on the bill.

The Kremlin’s New Internet Surveillance Plan Goes Live Today

Andrei Soldatov and Irina Borogan/Danger Room in Wired

Russia’s “Single Register” of banned websites goes into effect today.  While the Kremlin asserts that the register is designed to protect children from exploitation, it will effectively block “all kinds of online political speech” and may be used to spy on civilian activities.

Tunisian president extends state of emergency

Al Jazeera

Tunisian President Moncef Marzouki has extended the country’s state of emergency, which has been in place since January 2011, until February 1, 2013.  The three month extension was proposed by military and security officials following recent attacks by salafists and concerns for continued instability throughout the country.

China Presents Plan to End Syrian Conflict

Rick Gladstone/New York Times

A new proposal to end the conflict in Syria was presented on Thursday by China, one of the Syrian government’s few foreign defenders, which calls for a phased-in truce, the establishment of a transitional authority and an intensified international response to the humanitarian crisis afflicting millions of Syrians

Exam Said to Be Leaked to Guards at Nuclear Site

Matthew Wald/New York Times

The security guards at a nuclear weapons plant who failed to stop an 82-year-old nun from reaching a bomb fuel storage building earlier this year were also cheating on a recertification exam, according to an internal investigation by the Department of Energy, which owns the weapons plant.

No, Obama Did Not Abandon Poland

Stephen Flanagan/Foreign Policy

Not only does Obama still plan to deploy missile defenses in Poland, he has done as much, if not more, than his predecessor to bolster the security of U.S. allies in Central and Eastern Europe.

On Our Blog

Governor Christine Todd Whitman on Hurricane Sandy

Martin Bee

On October 30th, ASP Board member, former Administrator of the EPA, and former New Jersey Governor Christine Todd Whitman was interviewed about Hurricane Sandy on CNBC. In that interview she discussed her admiration for the government’s pre-impact preparations, dealing with changing weather patterns, and the importance of treating climate change as a real national security concern.

The Continuing Leonie Saga

 Matthew Wallin

This week, the Pentagon began its This week, the Pentagon began its investigation of Leonie Industries, its top contractor for communications efforts in Afghanistan. Leonie’s owners are accused of running a smear campaign against the USAToday journalists who broke the story of Leonie’s history of tax issues.

 On the Need for Long-Term Strategic Thinking in the Middle East

 Matthew Wallin

Policy makers would be wise to carefully note that the situation in Syria and other affected countries is incredibly precarious. Decisions should not be made on a short term basis. Rather, the long term consequences of America’s decisions regarding these countries must be considered.

 Vulnerability of Energy Infrastructure to Hurricane Sandy

 Nicholas Cunningham

Climate change made Hurricane Sandy worse. What are the effects on energy infrastructure?

Sandy One Example of Consequences of Climate Change

 Nicholas Cunningham

The devastation by Hurricane Sandy was made worse by climate change. These events are likely to become more frequent and severe