Thursday, March 22, 2012

A US assessment of the geopolitical role of water

Office of the Director of National Intelligence: While wars over water are unlikely within the next 10 years, water challenges – shortages, poor water quality, floods – will likely increase the risk of instability and state failure, exacerbate regional tensions, and distract countries from working with the United States on important policy objectives, according to an assessment prepared by the U.S. Intelligence Community (IC).

The Intelligence Community Assessment (ICA) “Global Water Security,” was prepared by the National Intelligence Council (NIC) of the Office of the Director of National Intelligence, and released by the ODNI today.

The ICA is based on a National Intelligence Estimate (NIE) requested by Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton to assess the impact of global water issues on U.S. national security interests over the next 30 years. It is intended to support a greater number of policymakers who share the concern that pressures on existing water resources may exacerbate local and regional tensions, perhaps to the point of conflict.

The ICA also notes that, as a consequence of water challenges globally, the demand for U.S. assistance and expertise will increase providing the U.S. with opportunities for leadership and forestalling other actors from achieving the same influence at U.S. expense....

A splash in a puddle, shot by HTO, Wikimedia Commons, under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 3.0 Unported license

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