Thirty-Eight Leading U.S. National Security Experts Urge Washington to Act on International Climate Change Initiatives

On February 25th, Partnership for a Secure America (PSA) rolled out an open letter on the national security threats of climate change at a bipartisan panel event on Capitol Hill. R. James Woolsey, former Director of Central Intelligence, and Wayne Gilchrest, former Congressman (R-MD) and Co-founder of the Congressional Climate Change Caucus, discussed the national security implications of climate change impacts abroad and offered expert insights on taking steps to tackle this issue.

As Congress decides the fate of sequestration and the federal budget, and the President considers Executive Action on climate change if the legislature fails to act, national security experts highlighted the importance of American-supported international projects focused on combating the impacts of climate change. The signatories to PSA’s bipartisan letter join the State Department, Defense Department, National Intelligence Council, and many other security voices in emphasizing the serious national security implications of climate change. The potential impacts — including drought, famine, displacement, and conflict — will affect poor, vulnerable nations as well as the United States military and civilian workers worldwide. The open letter articulates solutions to this growing threat and calls on U.S. support for public and private options to help fund critical international adaptation and mitigation projects.

The letter has 38 signatories including seventeen former Senators and Congress members, nine retired generals and admirals, both the Chair and Vice Chair of the 9/11 Commission, and Cabinet and Cabinet-level officials from the Nixon, Ford, Carter, Reagan, Bush (41), Clinton, and Bush (43) administrations. The following signatories spoke at the event:

R. James Woolsey, former Director of Central Intelligence 1993-95, former John McCain presidential campaign adviser, Venture Partner at Lux Capital Management.

Wayne Gilchrest, former Congressman (R-MD) 1991-2009, Co-founder of the Congressional Climate Change Caucus.
This initiative builds upon PSA’s 2009 statement “Climate Change Threatens All Americans” (www.psaonline.org/climate), which served to publically identify climate change as an issue of bipartisan concern among national security experts.

PSA is a nonprofit founded by former U.S. Representative Lee Hamilton (D-IN) and former U.S. Senator Warren Rudman (R-NH) to advance bipartisanship on today’s critical national security and foreign policy challenges. Leveraging the leadership of its distinguished Advisory Board, PSA has unique credibility and access to forge common ground and fashion thoughtful, fact-based policy that promotes America’s national interests. More information on PSA can be found at www.psaonline.org.
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