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Climate change has been a security issue for mankind since Homo sapiens first emerged on the planet, driving him to find new and better food, water, shelter, and basic resources for survival and the advancement of civilization. Only recently, however, has the rate of climate change coupled with man’s knowledge of his own role in that change accelerated, perhaps profoundly, changing the security paradigm. If we take a ―decades‖ look at the security issue, we see competition for natural resources giving way to Cold War ideological containment and deterrence, itself giving way to non-state terrorism and extremism. While we continue to defend against these threats, we are faced with even greater security challenges that inextricably tie economic, food and human security together and where the flash points may not provide clearly discernable causes, as they will be intrinsically tied to climate change. Several scientific reports have revealed that the modest development gains that can be realized by some regions could be reversed by climate change. This means that climate change is not just a long-term environmental threat as was widely believed, but an economic and developmental disaster that is unfolding. As such, addressing climate change has become central to the development and poverty reduction by the World Bank and other financial institutions. In Latin America, poorer countries and communities, such as those found in Central America, will suffer the hardest because of weaker resilience and greater reliance on climatesensitive sectors such as agriculture. The US should attempt to deliver capability to assist these states to deal with the effects of climate change.


The views, opinions, and/or findings contained in this report (paper) are those of the author(s) and should not be construed as an official Department of the Army position, policy or decision unless so designated by the official documentation.

Funded by the National Defense Center for Energy and Environment (NDCEE), ID W91WAW-09-D-0022, delivery order number 0616.



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