At a time when U.S. ground forces must wage two protracted wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, design overarching visions for future needs and plan and equip accordingly, analyzing how climate change might affect the Army, Marine Corps and National Guard might seem like an abstract exercise. Yet ensuring U.S. security has always required understanding and planning for the trends and threats America is likely to face in the future. As such, serious consideration of how climate change will affect the future operating environment, related missions, equipment and capabilities is certainly warranted. In this working paper, CNAS Bacevich Fellow Christine Parthemore identifies important aspects of what the effects of climate change could mean for U.S. ground forces, and highlights important questions for further research.
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