The Pentagon's Climate Change Directive; Dakota Wood Is the Heritage Foundation's Senior Research Fellow for Defense Programs. Wood, Who Spent Two Decades in the U.S. Marine Corps, Spoke to the Trib regarding the Pentagon Recently Ordering Commanders to Prioritize Climate Change in Military Actions. [Derived Headline]

By Heyl, Eric | Tribune-Review/Pittsburgh Tribune-Review, February 12, 2016 | Go to article overview

The Pentagon's Climate Change Directive; Dakota Wood Is the Heritage Foundation's Senior Research Fellow for Defense Programs. Wood, Who Spent Two Decades in the U.S. Marine Corps, Spoke to the Trib regarding the Pentagon Recently Ordering Commanders to Prioritize Climate Change in Military Actions. [Derived Headline]


Heyl, Eric, Tribune-Review/Pittsburgh Tribune-Review


Dakota Wood is The Heritage Foundation's senior research fellow for defense programs. Wood, who spent two decades in the U.S. Marine Corps, spoke to the Trib regarding the Pentagon recently ordering commanders to prioritize climate change in military actions.

Q: What prompted this directive?

A: It's important to keep in mind that senior civilian officials are political appointees and they're enacting the administration's legislative or policy agenda. So if the White House has a view on a social issue or environmental issue or national security issue, you would expect the people you've appointed into office to carry out that view.

What we're seeing on the environmental side is really a manifestation in defense policy of the Obama administration's views of global warming. And when you look at the defense department, I think it's the largest single user of fossil fuels in the country. If you are in the administration, that would be a great area to look at in terms of carbon footprint and usage of fossil fuels as opposed to alternative energy sources. Whether that makes sense in practical terms for military affairs is a related issue, but the genesis is the policy perspective on this matter. That policy perspective comes directly from President Obama. In a major foreign policy speech he made at West Point about a year ago, he made the point about global warming and environmentalism and the role of the military to both be aware of it and to prepare itself for it.

Q: Does it make sense in practical terms?

A: There is a heightened sense of urgency, as if we're going to see major (climate change) consequences in the next four or five years when these climate patterns unfold over centuries. …

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The Pentagon's Climate Change Directive; Dakota Wood Is the Heritage Foundation's Senior Research Fellow for Defense Programs. Wood, Who Spent Two Decades in the U.S. Marine Corps, Spoke to the Trib regarding the Pentagon Recently Ordering Commanders to Prioritize Climate Change in Military Actions. [Derived Headline]
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