Thursday, August 26, 2010

Prophecies fulfilled in Pakistan

Matthew O. Berger in IPS: Analysts have been warning for several years that the impacts of climate change directly relate to the national security of the U.S. and other countries, but the link has never been so clear as it is today in northwest Pakistan. The security implications of climate change first got official U.S. government attention this February, in the Quadrennial Defence Review, a four-yearly report from the Pentagon on the direction of national security strategy.

Noting rising sea levels, water shortages, melting Arctic ice, and extreme weather events, the review said that "while climate change alone does not cause conflict, it may act as an accelerant of instability or conflict, placing a burden to respond on civilian institutions and militaries around the world."

These implications had been discussed by other experts much earlier. Most notable was a 2007 report from the think tank Center for a New American Security (CNAS), which found that, when compared to other national security challenge, climate change "may represent a great or a greater" test. Their conclusions, however, were based on scenarios and exercises.

In Pakistan, where unprecedented floods have killed 1,500 people and displaced millions more, those scenarios are now reality. When floods swept through the country in late July, they pushed some desperate refugees right into the arms of militant groups in the northern regions of the country, where government aid was too slow or too little….

No comments: