The chief of US forces in the Pacific, when interviewed during a visit to Boston, cited climate change as the biggest long-term security threat to the US in the Pacific region:
Navy Admiral Samuel J. Locklear III, in an interview at a Cambridge hotel Friday after he met with scholars at Harvard and Tufts universities, said significant upheaval related to the warming planet “is probably the most likely thing that is going to happen . . . that will cripple the security environment, probably more likely than the other scenarios we all often talk about.’’ …
“The ice is melting and sea is getting higher,” Locklear said, noting that 80 percent of the world’s population lives within 200 miles of the coast. “I’m into the consequence management side of it. I’m not a scientist, but the island of Tarawa in Kiribati, they’re contemplating moving their entire population to another country because [it] is not going to exist anymore.”
Apart from the basic fact that the ice is not melting (it is growing) and the oceans are not rising to any appreciable degree, it is interesting that he thinks the people of Tarawa have the capability to destabilize the region and invade other countries. One would think that he would be more worried about a country such as North Korea, for example, as it has limited nuclear capabilities, has just torn up the 1953 armistice ending the Korean War, and has threatened to nuke the US. Or, if threats against US soil do not interest him, perhaps territorial disputes between China and Japan, the Philippines, and Vietnam, disputes which have within the last year have almost led to shots being fired. Curious that his main worry should be Tarawa. Does he have information that we do not have?
He went on to address the looming threat of an open Internet:
In the interview, he stressed the need for a global set of guidelines for the Internet and cyberspace, which he called the modern version of the 19th century’s “Wild West,” where “the only security you brought with you was what you carried on you.”
“We made cyberspace as kind of an ungoverned territory . . . and we haven’t been able to get our arms around how to govern it yet,” Locklear added.
To be charitable, perhaps here he is talking about rogue states involved in hacking. However, how would a global set of guidelines address such a concern? Rather, putting the UN in charge of the Internet would only lead to restrictions on the free-flow of information, which would in the end defeat the purpose of the Internet without dealing with the issue of security at all.
This is your military at work, people.