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National Security Implications of Climate Change for U.S. Naval Forces
The formal Department of Defense (DOD) lessons-learned report from Haiti is anticipated to elaborate on these and other items, and it can serve as a basis for future preplanning of international HA/DR activities between the United States, its allies, and other partners.
In addition to the HA/DR issues for the United States and its allies, the opening of the Arctic has the potential to be a new “great game” in geostrategic terms and thus serves as a challenge for U.S. and NATO forces.6 The potential challenges for alliances and other bilateral and multilateral relationships range from competition for Arctic resources, to navigation rights through the area, to which nation has responsibility and capability for search and rescue in the region. At the most extreme, conflicts or tensions over sovereign rights and jurisdiction in the Arctic may remain sensitive issues over the next 20 years. In addition to shifting the relationships of “frontline” Arctic nations (Canada, Denmark, Finland, Iceland, Norway, Russia, Sweden, and the United States), the opening of the area will affect global shipping routes, which in turn may affect U.S. bilateral and multilateral strategic and economic relationships around the world, with implications for maritime forces.
In follow-up analysis to its 2008 report National Security Implications ofGlobal Climate Change to 2030,7 the NIC embarked on a research effort to explore in greater detail the national security implications of climate change in six countries/regions of the world: (1) Russia; (2) China; (3) Southeast Asia and the Pacific Islands states; (4) India; (5) Mexico, the Caribbean, and Central America; and (6) North Africa. The committee has reviewed the analysis provided
The “great game” is a term originally used to describe the strategic rivalry between the British Empire and the Russian Empire to control major portions of Eurasia in the 19th century. Some political historians have suggested that a contemporary version of the great game international rivalry has been played out in the Middle East and the Balkans since the fall of the former USSR and the end of the Cold War. The great game terminology has also been used by some writers and observers of the Arctic. For example, see Great Game in a Cold Climate: Canada’s Arctic Sovereignty in Question, Canada National Defence website; available at http://www.journal.forces.gc.ca/vo6/no4/north-nord-01-eng.asp. Accessed June 4, 2010.
See House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence and House Select Committee on Energy Independence and Global Warming, “Statement for the Record by Dr. Thomas Fingar, Deputy Director of National Intelligence for Analysis—National Intelligence Assessment on the National Security Implications of Global Climate Change to 2030,” June 25, 2008.