The Defense Science Board
, which advices the U.S. military on scientific and technical matters, writes in a recent task force report
that the most immediate and destabilizing effects of climate change will impact U.S. security indirectly, through American reliance on already-vulnerable states that are “vital” sources of fuel and minerals or key partners in combatting terrorism. The report singles out three specific themes as particularly important to responding to near-term climate-driven threats and adapting to climate change’s long-term impacts: providing “better and more credible information [about climate change] to decision makers,” improving water management
, and building better local adaptation capacity
, particularly in African nations. Ultimately, the report concludes that the most effective, most efficient way the United States can respond to climate change is not militarily but “through anticipatory and preventative actions using primarily indigenous resources.”
In “Maritime Boundary Disputes in East Asia: Lessons for the Arctic,” published in International Studies Perspectives, James Manicom writes that as climate change makes access and exploration easier, there are lessons to be learned from East Asian states’ handling of maritime disputes for Arctic nations. Manicom finds that simply because a state may be party to the UN Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS), disputes over boundaries and “over the methods used to settle disputes” persist. Domestic identity politics also can and do affect the extent to which a state attempts to exert influence over disputed areas – a noteworthy conclusion given growing rhetoric in Arctic states over the national importance of disputed territories. Finally, Manicom points out that, while “high expectations of resource wealth” may fuel disputes and “political tension,” those expectations do not inevitably doom competing states to conflict over resources.