Iraq War General Slams Trump For Dismissing Pentagon Determination that Climate Change is a Security Threat

"It is beyond stunning to see a commander in chief so malfeasant, that he aligns himself with extraction industries over the expert men and women in uniform who are charged with protecting our military."

WASHINGTON, DC – The largest progressive group of veterans in America, VoteVets, is slamming Donald Trump’s decision to reverse military experts’ determination that climate change is a threat multiplier, and a danger to the lives of American troops. Trump is doing so, today, as part of his administration’s security plan overview.

“Based on sound science, and military threat assessments, climate change was determined to be a significant threat multiplier, that could result in US troops killed,” said Major General (Ret.) Paul Eaton, senior adviser to VoteVets. “The past couple of Quadrennial Defense Reviews stated it. General Mattis could not be more clear in saying he agreed with it. Today, Donald Trump is saying we should trust the lives of our men and women in uniform to ExxonMobil, Shell, and other fossil fuel corporations, and not to the men and women of the Pentagon who know what they’re doing.”

“It is beyond stunning to see a commander in chief so malfeasant, that he aligns himself with extraction industries over the expert men and women in uniform who are charged with protecting our military.”

Indeed, past Quadrennial Defense Reviews, released by the Pentagon, determined that climate change was a threat multiplier, in how it would affect migration patterns, stoke conflict over natural resources, and force more military responses to extreme weather.

The 2014 QDR stated: 

Climate change poses another significant challenge for the United States and the world at large. As greenhouse gas emissions increase, sea levels are rising, average global temperatures are increasing, and severe weather patterns are accelerating. These changes, coupled with other global dynamics, including growing, urbanizing, more affluent populations, and substantial economic growth in India, China, Brazil, and other nations, will devastate homes, land, and infrastructure. Climate change may exacerbate water scarcity and lead to sharp increases in food costs. The pressures caused by climate change will influence resource competition while placing additional burdens on economies, societies, and governance institutions around the world. These effects are threat multipliers that will aggravate stressors abroad such as poverty, environmental degradation, political instability, and social tensions – conditions that can enable terrorist activity and other forms of violence.

The 2010 QDR stated:

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. In addition, extreme weather events may lead to increased demands for defense support to civil authorities for humanitarian assistance or disaster response both within the United States and overseas. In some nations, the military is the only institution with the capacity to respond to a large-scale natural disaster.

During his confirmation hearings, General Jim Mattis agreed, writing to the Senate:

"Climate change can be a driver of instability and the Department of Defense must pay attention to potential adverse impacts generated by this phenomenon.”

Founded in 2006, and backed by over 500,000 supporters, the mission of VoteVets.org is to use public issue campaigns and direct outreach to lawmakers to ensure that troops abroad have what they need to complete their missions, and receive the care they deserve when they get home. VoteVets.org also recognizes veterans as a vital part of the fabric of our country and will work to protect veterans' interests in their day-to-day lives. VoteVets.org is committed to the destruction of terror networks around the world - with force when necessary - to protect America. While non-partisan, the group is the largest progressive organization of veterans in America.

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