Donald Trump, U.S. commander in chief, has pointedly decided to omit the threat of climate change from his administration’s National Security Strategy. The decision represents a sharp departure not only from the Obama administration’s approach to the global challenge, but also from the views of prominent military officials, including U.S. Department of Defense Secretary General James Mattis. The president's omission isn’t just foolish—it endangers the men and women who serve our country. An analysis by the Center for Climate and Security details how a warming world acts as a “threat multiplier,” contributing to instability in the very places the military operates. It also jeopardizes billions of dollars’ worth of DOD infrastructure, including 1,774 coastal military sites that could be impacted by sea-level rise.
Thankfully, Congress’s recent defense spending bill orders the Pentagon to report on the top 10 military bases at risk from climate change—and what it will take to protect them. Military leaders don’t have to let climate deniers get in the way of protecting America’s frontlines.