May 31, 2007
Global Warming Hysteria is a National Security IssueBy Gerd Schroeder
Recently in the news several retired US generals, came out in favor of using defense resources for fighting the effects of global warming. The news media only carried it for a day or so, but it raised some potent strategic issues that should be discussed.
In a news release dated April 15, 2007, the leader of the group, Retired Marine Corps General Zinni turned climatologist and claimed that the US must stop global warming. The group argues that conflicts will be ignited because of the affects of droughts, famines, floods, and hurricanes brought on by human caused global warming, and America must become a constructive force in ending it.
A question for these generals
Why should we rely on strategic guidance from these men who, over the last 20 years, misguided the military in a focus on total war with a conventional enemy? Prior to 1989 this was an understandable orientation, but post-Persian Gulf War 1991 the threat evolved sharply toward asymmetric warfare as the preferred method of waging war against the US and the west. While the true emerging threat was in asymmetric war or terrorism, these climatologist generals were focused on, and caused the military to devote manpower and resources mostly to massed armored and mechanized formations rolling through the Folda Gap in Germany, along with strategic bombing.
These same generals resisted addressing the rising threat of urban warfare, terrorist warfare, and other "hugging" methods of combat that mitigated the might of a technologically advanced and superiorly resourced and trained military's overmatch capabilities.
While General Zinni preached containment of Iraq in the late 1990s, Al Qaeda prepared and launched several attacks from General Zinni's area of responsibility in the central region. Now the very generals that were derelict in their duties to recognize the rise of Islamic Fascism want us to heed their dire predictions on unproven theories of human-caused global warming? They had their chance in the 90s to recognize and prepare the military that they controlled for the true threat of asymmetric warfare, but they ignored it. They should have no reasonable expectation of us listening to their advice on anything.
To be sure, droughts, famines, floods, hurricanes and other climate related disasters could cause conflict that might draw in the United States, but these are is not the main risks we face. These retired generals are making the same mistake in signing on to the global warming hysteria as they did with emergence of asymmetric warfare and terrorism in the 90s. They identify the blatantly obvious first order effects, but predictably do not even try and conceder the second and third order effects of their proposed actions.
The real National Security risk: hyped and unproven man made global warming.
If we, as a nation, divert our economy to fight the phantom threat of the man-made global warming myth, our belligerent competitors around the world will benefit. Administering the prescriptions offered to combat global warming is a kin to throwing trillions of dollars down the drain.
Think of China. China would be more than happy to see us divert any part of our economy from capitalism to fighting global warming in a fruitless effort. Wasting those resources gives China a way to speed its efforts to catch and surpass us as the preeminent world power.
Our economy and security are dependant on growth. Every dollar wasted on global warming takes away from the growth of our economy and allows China, and other belligerent conventional competitors, to close the gap. China is delighted to promote the myth that American must stop growing to preserve our environment; not because they care for the environment, but because they see it as an opportunity to catch us on the world stage, while they are exempt from the same restrictions under the Kyoto Accords/
The same can be said for any peer competitor, but more importantly for any asymmetric competitor of ours. How long will it be before we hear Al Qaeda (AQ), or other terrorist groups, chastise the US for environmental reasons, or accuse the US of taking more than our share of the world's resources?
Why would AQ pretend to care for the environment?
AQ and groups like them, indeed all of our enemies, understand that we can't be defeated through military means, but only through manipulation of information in their favor. They seek to influence the American people to turn the people against the policies of the US government, and ultimately against the US government itself with civil strife.
The worldwide fanaticism surrounding global warming right now is obvious to our enemies as a source of leverage against us. AQ will use this irrational fear to affect the way the people of the world view the US a country and world leader, but more importantly to influence how our citizens view their own country.
If school teachers in America are able to turn kids against their parents for hurting the environment, then how much easier will it be for clever belligerent countries and terrorist groups to be able to use environmental issues like global warming to manipulate one of the most emotional and divisive issues that confront our country today?
So the next time one hears of one of our enemies chastising the US with regard to global warming, remember that it is not out of a concern for the environment, it is an effort to cripple the US and lessen our influence, and ultimately destroy us.
Likewise, the next time you hear one of these retired general preach to us about something military (let alone environmental issues), remember that these are the same men that totally dropped the ball on their watch in the 90s, during the rise of the use of terrorism as a weapon of asymmetric warfare.
Gerd Schroeder is a Major in the United States Army and a frequent contributor to American Thinker. Major Schroeder has served in Iraq and Afghanistan. His views are his own. He does not speak for the US Army or the Department of Defense.