U.S. intelligence is finally turning its attention to what is potentially one of the biggest threats to global security: climate change. The intel community just completed the “first National Intelligence Estimate (NIE) on the implications of global climate change for U.S. security,” World Politics Review reports. The report is classified, but WPR has some details:
[T]he NIE concludes that, at least for the next 20 years, climate change would not present a major direct threat to the national security of the United States. However, the authors of the estimate worry that climate change could indirectly threaten U.S. security by affecting other countries of interest to the United States.
Take, for instance, Chad, an oil exporter and the recipient of billions of dollars in U.S. aid. Shifting weather patterns in the Central African country have exacerbated historical water and wood shortages. The resulting conflict has only further destabilized a country that was already on the verge of meltdown. (Chadian wood distribution pictured.)
The process for and implications of producing the report is at least as interesting as the report itself, WPR states. The decision to even address climate change “thrust the U.S. intelligence community into a highly partisan debate.”