ANALYSIS – With an increasingly powerful and belligerent communist China breathing down our necks, threatening to start World War III over Taiwan, Russia cyber-attacking their way into every U.S. government nook and cranny, and Afghanistan turning into a new terror base, Joe Biden’s Pentagon is laser-focused on battling – Climate Change.
Rather than confront the myriad real-world military threats facing America today, Biden’s obsequious Secretary of Defense, Lloyd Austin, is ensuring our troops are “climate literate,” declaring climate change to be a “critical national security issue.”
This, according to the first plan produced by Biden’s Pentagon, signed by Defense Secretary Austin and released on Oct. 7; the Defense Department’s vaunted “Climate Adaptation Plan.”
The 32-page plan identifies numerous tasks the Pentagon will undertake to “enhance resilience to the effects of climate change” and “reduce greenhouse gas emissions.”
As Thomas Spoehr, a retired U.S. Army lieutenant general, writes in The Hill:
The plan also identifies the need to develop a “climate literate and capable workforce.” As part of that effort, it intends to integrate “climate change literacy into all its training and education efforts, from skill-specific military education to graduate training in the war colleges.” No matter that, due to a high operational tempo and time constraints, service members already struggle to learn basic warrior tasks such as ship navigation or driver’s training for armored vehicles. Climate change will likely raise to the top of an already long list of topics requiring training.
Nor are Pentagon climate adaptation efforts confined to America. The plan calls for efforts to “build partner nation capacity to respond to climate change related hazards.” As the U.S. works to assemble strong coalitions to counter Chinese and Russian hegemony, our allies can look forward to U.S. military officials mansplaining how they, too, can become “climate-literate.”
This does not appear well-calculated to win military friends and influence allies, much less win wars. One might think the Pentagon has more pressing matters to attend to… like the Navy, which is struggling, without a defined path forward, to amass the numbers and types of ships needed to prevail in future conflicts. Or developing a clear strategy for deterring Chinese aggression.
The decision to prioritize working up a climate adaptation plan is puzzling but unfortunately not surprising. In Biden’s March 2021 Interim National Security Guidance, the topic of climate change was featured no fewer than 14 times, while the U.S. Navy or Army – subjects you might expect to see mentioned in a U.S. security strategy – received no mention whatsoever.
The Defense Department certainly does need to adapt to a changing climate. Multiple military installations are located on or near the ocean and must be hardened and made resilient. But when it comes to prioritizing efforts within the Pentagon, developing the capacity to deter military threats that pose near-term existential risks to the country must come first. China is reportedly doubling or possibly even tripling the size of its nuclear arsenal. North Korea continues to improve its ballistic missiles.
Planning how to respond to those lethal global military threats should be the number one Pentagon priority, not obsessing over the weather and greenhouse gasses. ADN