Climate Change, a Convenient Cover for Geopolitics and War

What became increasingly clear over the past weeks is the intention of the Western military establishment to link the pretext of “climate change” to the same old geopolitical agenda. This was unambiguously expressed on April 22 at the Leaders Summit by U.S. Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin: “We face all kinds of threats in our line of work, but few of them truly deserve to be called existential. The climate crisis does.… Climate change is making the world more unsafe and we need to act. The climate crisis is a profoundly destabilizing force for our world. As the Arctic melts, competition for resources and influence in the region increases. Closer to the Equator, rising temperatures and more frequent and intense extreme weather events in Africa and Central America threaten millions with drought, hunger, and displacement.”

This is a vicious statement for several reasons, one of which is the attempt to blame the pressing problems of hunger, migration and under-development in the world on the climate, when they are clearly the result of the neo-liberal economic and permanent war policies deliberately carried out under the present-day “British Empire”. Implicit in this drive is the threat to use military intervention and/or regime change coups to impose the Anglo-American “rules-based order”, as has been done in Iraq, Libya, Syria, and Yemen.

Earlier on the same day, the Pentagon’s Climate Action Team had posted articles which highlighted the geopolitical competition for resources. Reducing population growth in underdeveloped, mineral-rich countries has been a persistent theme of the Pentagon’s strategy papers for many years, with the climate crisis being a more recent addition. However, just days after his inauguration, Joe Biden officially made “climate considerations” an “essential element of U.S. foreign policy and national security”.

Thus, climate change became an inherent part of Pentagon planning, at the same time as provocations of China and Rus sia have markedly escalated, with the corresponding danger of leading to full-scale war.

Lest anyone doubt that danger, Admiral Charles Richard, the commander of the U.S. Strategic Command (StratCom), announced in February that he had instructed the Pentagon to upgrade the likelihood of nuclear war from “almost impossible” to a “very real possibility.” And on April 20, StratCom, which is responsible for the U.S. nuclear arsenal, published the following tweet: “The spectrum of conflict today is neither linear nor predictable. We must account for the possibility of conflict leading to conditions which could very rapidly drive an adversary to consider nuclear use as their least bad option.”

Such statements hardly received any media coverage, although they were made in the context of an alarming escalation of sanctions, expulsions of diplomats and military maneuvers against both Russia and China (cf. below).

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