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Georgetown University’s Newspaper of Record since 1920

The Hoya

Georgetown University’s Newspaper of Record since 1920

The Hoya

Recognizing Climate Change as a Threat to National Security


CHATTER squareThe Pentagon made climate change difficult to ignore last week by declaring it an immediate threat to national security.

The threat was discussed at length in their report titled 2014 Climate Change Adaptation Roadmap. The report, written to fulfill executive orders, will require all federal agencies and departments to evaluate climate change risks and vulnerabilities.

All in all, it’s an intelligent move by the White House to prepare government agencies for the undeniable climatic consequences of global warming.

Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel writes that climate change is certain to undermine areas of national defense with extreme abnormal weather. The weather will become a danger to international stability by negatively impacting availability of food and water, human migration and competition for natural resources.

Though Defense Secretary Hagel cites these as long-term threats, I believe we are beginning to see the impacts today.

A strong argument can be made to support the claim; climate change was a major cause of the civil war in Syria. From 2006 to 2011, Syria suffered the worst drought in their recorded history. Many scientists believe the severity of the drought was the result of rising global temperatures. With no water available for farming, an agricultural crisis ensued, forcing an estimated 800,000 farmers to leave their ruined crops behind for jobs in urban areas. In cities, farmers were met with unemployment and food shortages.

This environment made people angry with their leader Bashar Al-Assad for not doing more to aid the suffering people, and protests ensued. The civil war, which has since engulfed the country and much of the surrounding region, poses a direct threat to U.S. national security as it has helped catalyze the breakdown of stability in the Middle East.

To plan for the types of conflict climate change can cause the Department of Defense will perform in-depth assessments to determine which areas are most prone to climate change vulnerability so adverse impacts might be mitigated. These areas range from potential areas of foreign conflict, operation plans, training, infrastructure and acquisition.

The threats the Pentagon has described should not be considered cautions to plan for. Climate change is real, it is here today, and it’s drastically changing the structure of our world. But while it is important to adjust defense plans, climate change does not have to be the bearer of great conflict.

It is a global problem with no respect for human boundaries. Nations must set aside their differences and work together to find a solution to climate change. For its threat is so much greater than the interests of any one nation.

IMG_6424Lauren Gros is a freshman in the School of Foreign Service. The Modern Lens appears every other Thursday at

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  • B

    bill orightsNov 2, 2014 at 6:21 pm

    Speaking with some experience on the topic of national security, the Obama administration wouldn’t know a national security threat if it showed up in Ferguson, Missouri, the Cliven Bundy Ranch or Huffington Post.

  • A

    AntoniaOct 31, 2014 at 10:49 pm

    Qatar Awareness Campaign: Letter to President Obama

    Published on Friday, 31 October 2014 07:05 Written by Qatar Awareness

    President Barack H. Obama
    The White House
    1600 Pennsylvania Avenue NW
    Washington, DC 20500

    Dear President Obama:
    This letter is being sent to you on behalf of the Qatar Awareness Campaign Coalition. The purpose is to inform you and the public of the activities of one of America’s closest allies under your administration, the State of Qatar. Not only is Qatar a state sponsor of terror which has funded Hamas, Boko Haram, and the Islamic State, but it is increasingly apparent that Qatar is a significant factor in the United States’ diplomatic rift with Israel, and finances the genocidal Islamic State.
    Qatar was the primary sponsor of the Arab Spring, which saw its guests, the Muslim Brotherhood, assume power in Tunisia, Egypt, and Libya. Each of these countries subsequently descended into chaos, sectarian and religious violence, and Islamic autocracy. The Muslim Brotherhood, the same group from which sprouted Al Qaeda and ISIS, has created a veritable security, diplomatic, and humanitarian crisis in North Africa and the Middle East that threatens world peace.

    Diplomatically, the United States’ relationship with Israel has never been more strained. Our relationship with Egypt, which was formerly the lynchpin in America’s diplomatic standing in the Arab world, has crumbled. King Abdullah of Jordan, whose country has been a steadfast and reliable ally in combating Islamic extremism for decades, has said publicly that he does not trust your government. Even Saudi Arabia, which has been an American ally since the 1930s, is exasperated and has publicly put distance between itself and the American government.

    The net result of your administration’s policy of supporting the Qataris and the Muslim Brotherhood is simply this: an expansion Russia’s sphere of influence across the region. Yet the seismic geopolitical shift which is the likely fallout of the Arab Spring, namely, the realignment of several former American allies with Russia, is, incredibly, not the biggest story in this first class debacle.

    There is an ongoing genocide across the Middle East against Christians, Kurds, Yazidis, and other religious and ethnic minorities. The tactics being employed each and every day by the Islamic State are reminiscent of the Nazi Holocaust. This is no accident; in fact, it is consistent with history. The original horrific event that gave the world the terrible word “genocide,” or murder of a people, came from the Armenian genocide, perpetuated by the Ottoman Empire. The primary victims of this genocide were Armenian Christians, but many others who were on the wrong side of the world’s last official Caliphate paid with their lives as well. Mass shootings, mass drownings, mass starvations, and other devilish acts marked this dark period in modern history.

    A key participant in both the Armenian genocide, as well as the Holocaust, was the Grand Mufti of Jerusalem, Amin al Husseini. He was also the leader of the Muslim Brotherhood in Palestine: the same group that Qatar hosts as honored guests in Doha today.

    We are witnessing a repeat of history in the worst imaginable way. In these momentous times, what is lacking the most is truth. The terrible truth is that United States government under your leadership has been on the side of the Muslim Brotherhood throughout the Arab Spring, and through the period of Islamist genocide in Syria, Iraq, Libya, and across several other countries. There is no other logical or reasonable way to interpret recent history.

    In this so-called Arab Spring, Qatar and the United States have been partners in crime.

    There are other atrocities to be attributed to Qatar, including their penchant for slave labor. It is estimated that nearly 4,000 migrant workers will die constructing the stadiums for the 2022 FIFA World Cup, scheduled to be played in Doha. Not only slave labor, but sex slavery deserves to be mentioned: for Boko Haram was created by a Qatari proxy, set up as a money making venture. The individual who provided the funds now resides in Doha. In order to #BringBackOurGirls, #StopQatarNow.
    Moreover, Qatar it is involved in Taliban narcotics trafficking through a relationship with the Pakistani National Logistics Cell. The National Logistics Cell of Pakistan is currently a NATO subcontractor. With a stroke of your pen, this can change tomorrow.

    Finally, Qatar Awareness Campaign Coalition and petitioners ask that you consider the attached sourced report on Qatar’s activities. The links cited are vetted and credible sources. We hope you take the time to verify the truth of the statements for yourself.

    Mr. President, this letter of course tells you nothing you do not already know. You are privileged to the listen to the intelligence collected by multiple world class agencies, whose capabilities are second-to-none.
    Still, the Qatar Awareness Campaign Coalition implores you to examine the Qatari record on human rights, genocide, slavery, and narcotics. It behooves a great nation to choose their primary allies carefully.

    After doing so, the Coalition of the Qatar Awareness Campaign calls on you to cut all diplomatic, economic, and political ties with Qatar; remove all American military personnel from Doha; and freeze all Qatari connected assets around the globe until the reigning, duplicitous Al-Thanis step down and surrender to a court of justice!


    Lt. Col. Allen B. West (US Army, Ret)
    Frank J. Gaffney, Jr
    Center for Security Policy Pamela Geller
    Atlas Shrugs Walid Shoebat
    Charles Ortel
    Washington Times Paul E Vallely, US Army (Ret)
    Chairman, Stand Up America Robert Spencer
    Jihad Watch
    **& the entire Qatar Awareness Campaign Coalition.

  • A

    AntoniaOct 31, 2014 at 10:47 pm

    Watermelon…Green on the outside–Red inside..More Marxism and control from Qatar

  • B

    bill orightsOct 31, 2014 at 10:26 pm


    NOW I have seen everything.