By Mark Hosenball
WASHINGTON (Reuters), – U.S. intelligence agencies named 11 countries on Thursday as “highly susceptible” to climate change. These included Pakistan, India, and Afghanistan.
A new National Intelligence Estimate by the Office of Director of National Intelligence predicts that the global warming trend will lead to increased geopolitical tensions, and thus increase the risks for U.S. security in the coming decades. This was according to a top intelligence officer who helped draft the report.
This estimate is based on broad U.S. intelligence assessments. This Thursday’s report lists Afghanistan, Pakistan and Myanmar as countries of concern.
According to the official, Afghanistan is particularly vulnerable due to heat, drought, ineffective government, and water availability. India and South Asia are facing water disputes that pose a major geopolitical problem.
This report also identifies additional concerns for U.S. intelligence agents. The risk of instability is likely to rise in Central African countries and in small Pacific island states. They are two of the most sensitive areas of the planet.
This report identifies disparities between global approaches to climate change. It states that countries who rely on fossil fuel exports as a source of support for their economies will “continue to resist a swift transition to a low-carbon world” because they are afraid of the political and economic costs.
This report also points out the potential for increasing strategic competition over Arctic. The report states that both Arctic and non-Arctic countries “almost certainly” will be more competitive as the Arctic becomes more accessible due to warmer temperatures and less ice.
The report predicts that international competition for Arctic resources will be primarily economic, but there is a slight risk of miscalculation as more commercial and military activities increase and the opportunities become more competitive.
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