August 9, 2009

U.S. military planners eye climate crises

The United States may have to resort to military interventions to deal with the future effects of climate change, military and intelligence analysts say.

Drought, violent storms, pandemics, mass migration and other severe problems spawned by climate change could result in crises that pose profound threats to the United States' national security, and analysts say U.S. armed forces must be ready to respond to them, The New York Times reported Sunday.

Military strategists have used the scenario in which a flood in Bangladesh resulting in hundreds of thousands of refugees streaming into India, triggering a religious conflict that, in turn, causes disease pandemics, the newspaper said.

The exercises at the National Defense University were evidence that a growing number of defense policy makers consider the world's rising sea levels, hotter temperatures and melting glaciers are posing a very real threat to vital U.S. interests, the Times reported.