Frequently Asked Questions

What is National Security and the Threat of Climate Change?

"National Security and the Threat of Climate Change" is a report that evaluates the likely effects of climate change, including rising sea levels, increased desertification and availability of critical resources such as food, water and energy, and how those changes could trigger conflicts around the globe. It explores ways projected climate change is a "threat multiplier" in already fragile regions, exacerbating conditions that contribute to failed states — the breeding grounds for humanitarian disasters, extremism and violence. It includes analysis of the implications for U.S. military planning over the next 30 to 40 years, which is the timeframe that coincides with future defense planning horizons and weapons system life cycles.

What is the Military Advisory Board?

The Military Advisory Board consists of eleven retired three- and four-star admirals and generals, representing all four branches of the U.S. Armed Forces. Gen. Gordon Sullivan, USA (ret), former Army Chief of Staff and current president of the Association of the United States Army, is the MAB Chairman.

Why did CNA establish this panel and write this report?

To educate the public and policy makers about the implications of climate change to America's national security. The MAB members were invited based on their command and national security planning experience in the U.S. Armed Forces.

Is there a particular political position supported by this report?

Members of the MAB are united in their conclusion that climate change represents a risk to American national security. The MAB's purpose is to help Americans understand the risks of climate change to our security and encourage policymakers and military planners to begin planning to avoid these risks.

What climate science was considered in drafting National Security and the Threat of Climate Change?

The MAB received numerous briefings on the available science on climate change, to include both empirical evidence of climate change that has already occurred and is occurring today, as well as projections of future climate change. They came to the conclusion that the evidence is sufficiently compelling and the consequences sufficiently grave that this issue requires substantially more analytical effort by the intelligence community and defense planners to mitigate and adapt to the potential threats of climate change.

How can I invite a MAB member to speak to a group or conduct an interview?

Contact Connie Custer, Vice President of Communications and Public Affairs, 703.824.2758 (office), 703.585.6827 (cell), or custerc@cna.org.