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Trump’s Choice on Climate Change

For many, Donald Trump’s victory in the US presidential election was an ambush, and it may be a long time before we understand fully the new operating environment. But if we do not begin adjusting the plan, we risk opening ourselves up to serious strategic threats – the gravest of which is likely to be climate change.

WASHINGTON, DC – Planning. It is the key to successful military action – and, in many ways, to success in general – and United States Marines like me pride ourselves on it. But if you’ve spent 30 years in the military, as I have, you know that an effective plan cannot be static; operating environments change, often in surprising or unexpected ways. Donald Trump’s victory in the US presidential election earlier this month constitutes just such a change.

It may be a long time before we fully understand the new operating environment. But we must begin adjusting – and continue adjusting as new facts come to light. Otherwise, we risk becoming vulnerable to serious strategic threats – the gravest of which is likely to be climate change.

The increase in the Earth’s surface temperature represents a fundamental shift in the global operating environment, both economically and militarily. It is not just that some so-called “elites” think that the weather is going to warm up a bit. Climate change is not trivial; nor are its security implications.

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