North Korea continues to ignore global rules against nuclear proliferation, openly daydreams about nuking the United States and shredded its 1953 armistice with South Korea, but U.S. Navy Adm. Samuel J. Locklear III, the chief of U.S. Pacific Command, insists that a warming planet could "cripple the security environment, probably more than the other scenarios we all often talk about."
“You have the real potential here in the not-too-distant future of nations displaced by rising sea level,” Locklear told Danger Room pal Bryan Bender of the Boston Globe over the weekend. “Certainly weather patterns are more severe than they have been in the past. We are on super typhoon 27 or 28 this year in the Western Pacific. The average is about 17.”
So the greatest threat in the Pacific region isn’t a military one, despite the fresh provocations fromnuclear North Korea; the Chinese missile buildup; and the hardening responses by the nations that feel threatened by both regional military powers. All this has right-leaning naval analyst Bryan McGrath shaking his head that Locklear’s jumped the shark.
Indeed, while McGrath says he has "no issue accepting the prospect that land is being lost to the sea, slowly -- glacially slowly -- displacing human beings," it's unsettling that "a military commander with the scope of responsibility of the Pacific Commander has this atop his list of concerns."