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March 06, 2018

King Questions Top Intelligence Officials on Impact of Climate Change on National Security

Also discusses Iran nuclear agreement, China’s regional, global influence strategy

WASHINGTON, D.C. – During a hearing on worldwide threats before the Senate Armed Services Committee today, U.S. Senator Angus King (I-Maine) questioned Director of National Intelligence (DNI) Dan Coats and Defense Intelligence Agency Director Lieutenant General Robert Ashley on global threats and critical issues facing U.S. national security. Citing a report on worldwide threats from DNI Coats, Senator King underscored the significance climate change may have on U.S. national security and its ramifications for human migration patterns, famine, and potential conflict around the globe.

            “The past one hundred and fifteen years – I’m reading from your report – have been the warmest years on record,” Senator King said. “I would just hope that you would have the people who prepared this brief the Secretary of the EPA, because I think this information is important. It’s important to national security. We often talk about the risk of climate change in the context of environmentalism, but according to your analysis it is also an issue that affects national security. It will increase migration patterns, conflict, famine, and the like, which is often how wars start.”

Through his work on the Armed Services Committee, Senator King has also consistently underscored the impact that sea level rise – as a result of climate change – could have on U.S. national security and its many coastal military bases around the world.

During the hearing, Senator King also received confirmation from DNI Coats that it is the opinion of the intelligence community that Iran has complied with the major provisions of the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action to curtail its nuclear program. Senator King also questioned DNI Coats about China’s goals in expanding its regional and global influence.


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