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Top U.S. admiral cites climate change, not China, as biggest Pacific security threat

- The Washington Times - Monday, March 11, 2013

Navy Admiral Samuel Locklear III is in charge of keeping an eye on North Korea, on the progression of tensions between China and Japan, and on cybersecurity threats from China. But he still thinks the biggest security threat in the Pacific is climate change.

"People are surprised sometimes" by his threat assessment, he said, during an interview reported by The Boston Globe that he gave in Cambridge, Mass. "You have the real potential here in the not-too-distant future of nations displaced by rising sea level. Certainly, weather patterns are more severe than they have been in the past."

Admiral Locklear said it was more likely that upheaval from global warming would lead to long-term security compromises than anything to do with the military, The Boston Globe reports. He also said that global diplomacies have recognized this threat. The U.S. military is beginning to coordinate with other military forces around the world to look at climate change as the real security threat to nations' sustainability.

"We have interjected into our multilateral dialogue — even with China and India — the imperative to kind of get military capabilities aligned [for] when the effects of climate change start to impact these massive populations," he said, in The Boston Globe report. "If it goes bad, you could have hundreds of thousands or millions of people displaced and then security will start to crumble pretty quickly.''

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