- The Washington Times - Friday, January 15, 2010


Thomas Joscelyn’s criticism of the intelligence community’s decision to re-establish cooperation with climate scientists is shortsighted in the extreme and exploitative of America’s continuing fear of another terrorist attack (“Dying for the environment,” Commentary, Wednesday). Facts are stubborn things, and the facts show this to be a low-cost, wise use of American intelligence assets.

Every administration since President Carter’s has supported efforts to understand the national implications of climate change. Even the final national military strategy of the George W. Bush administration in 2008 included climate change as a key factor shaping the international environment.

Rather than distracting the intelligence community from more pressing issues, the program described by Mr. Joscelyn is a force-multiplier for the intelligence community. It will enhance our overall understanding of an issue recognized as a national security concern by Congress, the president and the National Intelligence Council in 2007 and 2008. Our nation is well-served by providing data gathered for other purposes to the scientists who can use it to enhance our understanding of a global phenomenon whose implications we do not yet fully understand.

After the attacks of Sept. 11, some lamented a failure of imagination that kept us from seeing the danger posed by al Qaeda. On the issue of climate change today, the American intelligence community is showing the creativity, initiative and innovation we should demand of it on every issue. Instead of criticizing it for political reasons, let’s embrace and encourage it.


Executive director

American Security Project




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