Military Advisory Board

Military Advisory Board

The Military Advisory Board is a defense advisory group composed of eleven retired three-star and four-star generals and admirals who were convened to study the implications of global warming for U.S. national security.[1] In May 2009 the MAB issued a report that explores the impact of America's energy choices on our national security policies. This new report, titled "Powering America’s Defense: Energy and the Risks to National Security,"[1] considers the security risks inherent in our current energy posture; energy choices the nation can make to enhance our national security; the impact of climate change on our energy choices and our national security; and the role the Department of Defense can play in the nation’s approach to energy security and climate change.

In April 2007, the group issued its report entitled "National Security and the Threat of Climate Change."[2] The report projects that climate change will pose a serious threat to America’s national security, especially by creating instability in already volatile regions.[3] The report was commissioned by the Center for Naval Analyses, a government-financed research group.[1]


Principal findings

The Military Advisory Board looked at the conditions climate changes are likely to produce, how those conditions may affect America’s national security interests, and what actions the nation should take to address the these consequences.[3] Its principal findings included the following:

  • Projected climate change poses a serious threat to America’s national security.
  • Climate change acts as a threat multiplier for instability in some of the most volatile regions of the world.
  • Climate change, national security, and energy dependence are a related set of global challenges.


Based on these findings, the group made several recommendations, including the following:[3]

  1. The national security consequences of climate change should be fully integrated into national security and national defense strategies. The intelligence community should incorporate climate consequences into its National Intelligence Estimate.
  2. The U.S. should commit to a stronger national and international role to help stabilize climate change at levels that will avoid significant disruption to global security and stability.
  3. The U.S. should commit to global partnerships that help less developed nations build the capacity and resiliency to better manage climate impacts.
  4. The Department of Defense should enhance its operational capability by accelerating the adoption of improved business processes and innovative technologies that result in improved U.S. combat power through energy efficiency.
  5. The Department of Defense should conduct an assessment of the impact on U.S. military installations worldwide of rising sea levels, extreme weather events, and other projected climate change impacts over the next 30 to 40 years.

Group members

A dozen highly respected retired admirals and generals, headed by former Army Chief of Staff General Gordon R. Sullivan, comprised the Military Advisory Board.[2]

Statements of group members

"After listening to leaders of the scientific, business, and governmental communities both I and my colleagues came to agree that Global Climate Change is and will be a significant threat to our National Security and in a larger sense to life on earth as we know it to be."

-General Gordon R. Sullivan, USA (Ret.), from testimony before the Select Committee On Energy Independence And Global Warming, U.S. House Of Representatives[4]

"Unlike the problems that we are used to dealing with, these will come upon us extremely slowly, but come they will, and they will be grinding and inexorable,"

-Richard H. Truly, United States Navy vice admiral and former NASA administrator, from report of the Military Advisory Board.[1]

External links


  1. ^ a b c Andrew C. Revkin and Timothy Williams, Global Warming Called Security Threat, New York Times, April 15, 2007
  2. ^ "National Security and the Threat of Climate Change". Center for Naval Analyses, April 2007.
  3. ^ a b c National Security and the Threat of Climate Change: Military Advisory Board Findings. Pew Center on Global Climate Change. Retrieved on May 28, 2007.
  4. ^ "Testimony of General Gordon R. Sullivan, USA (Ret.) before the Select Committee On Energy Independence And Global Warming U.S. House Of Representatives". April 18, 2007. Retrieved on May 28, 2007.

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