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Sri Lanka Army

Defenders of the Nation

31st August 2018 18:28:44 Hours

Climate Change Vs Future Warfare Needed to be Given Due Consideration

‘Climate Change: Future of Warfare’ was one more interesting topic (Group ‘C’) that sparked off new perspectives and dimensions, particularly in relation to future battlefield operations during the Session 3 on Friday (31).

Brigadier Jonathan Beesley of Australian Army and Colonel J.Chipili of Zambian Army representing the syndicate Group ‘C’forwarded their findings and observations to the Sessions.

With introductory comments on differences in perspectives, developed countries and developing countries, the presentations did draw parallels between positive and negative climate change and its impact on future warfare.

Identifying positive effects, the presenters attributed the existence of new shipping routes as a result of inevitable change of climatic conditions. Similarly, expansion of new patches of agricultural land across the globe, specially with extended forest coverage has largely contributed to the dramatic changes in climate change.

Considering the negative impact that has been brought about in terms of climate change, the presenters held the view that the urbanization of warfare, scarcity of resources, political instability, social instability, economic instability, mass external migration and new forms of conflicts (land, water,etc), have contributed to this change of climatic conditions in a negative manner, detrimental to the very existence of the mankind on earth.

Identifying challenges that lie ahead, the presenters told the audience that de-urbanization, effects of cross border, difficulty in control of population, different levels of commitment from outside countries, different perspectives and various threat perceptions are needed to be addressed in a dynamic manner.

Commenting on future perspectives of warfare, they maintained that the role of military has to be adjusted to suit changing climatic conditions across the globe with special attention on capability of military operations, securing of access and protection of resources, reaction to climatic changes, internal and external operation capabilities, mitigation of climatic effects and for success of any military assignment as it has lot to do with civilians.

Presenters underlined the whole of the nation should be made aware of those climatic repercussions and the increase of numbers in future actions. More importantly, legal frameworks to support ‘Climate Intervention Operations’ backed by multinational forces be made available in order to protect shared resources. (For example, rivers that cross borders, etc)

Adding another dimension to the doctrine, concepts, training, equipping and implementing other domains of space and cyber, sensor, alternate and renewable resources, those future assignments have to be meticulously planned with required dialogues in place, the presenters announced.