4    Lines in the shifting sand

The strategic politics of climate change, human security and national defense

Betsy Hartmann

In September 2009 the U.S. Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) launched its new Center on Climate Change and National Security. According to the agency’s press release, the center will study the national security impacts of desertification, rising sea levels, population shifts and conflict over natural resources, and will be “aggressive in outreach to academics and think tanks working on the issue” (CIA, 2009). The center’s establishment reflects mounting concern in U.S. national security circles about the threats climate change poses to American interests and international stability (Broder, 2009).

These threats were elaborated ...

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