The United States military’s near-peer adversaries including China and Russia are developing hypersonic weapons and advanced aircraft, while rogue states including Iran and North Korea are increasing their capability to conduct asymmetrical warfare via the use of propaganda campaigns and cyber-attacks.
In recent weeks, the United States was hit by multiple cyberattacks that took down the Colonial Pipeline, which supplies the bulk of the east coast with fuel, and JBS, the nation’s largest meatpacker in the country. Both companies were forced to pay Russian hackers who used “ransomware” to lock critical computer networks. Other attacks in recent years have targeted cities and major corporations.
President Joe Biden has made infrastructure a key facet of his administration’s goal to “Build Back Better,” yet this week while addressing U.S. Airmen in the UK during his first overseas trip the leader of the free world suggested the nation faces an even greater threat.
“Climate change” said Biden was the greatest threat the United States now faces.
“We must all commit to an ambitious climate action if we’re going to prevent the worst impacts of climate change, limiting global warning—warming—to no more than 1.5 degrees Celsius,” said Biden.
Failing to do so would be catastrophic he warned in his own usual “folksy” way.
“We need the global transition to clean energy technology. Y’know when I was over in the tank in the Pentagon, and I was first elected vice president with President Obama, the military sat us down to let us know what the greatest threats facing America were, the greatest physical threats,” Biden told the Airmen at Royal Air Force (RAF) Base Mildenhall in Suffolk, England.
“This is not a joke. Y’know what the Joint Chiefs told us the greatest threat facing America was? Global warming,” Biden added. “Because there’ll be significant population movements, fights over land, millions of people leaving places because they are literally sinking below the sea in Indonesia. Because of the fights over what is arable land anymore.”
This week Vice President Kamala Harris, who was taking part in her first foreign trip since taking office, suggested that climate change was one of the “root causes” of the crisis on the U.S.-Mexico border.
“I want to be very clear that the problem at the border in large part, if not entirely, stems from the problems in these countries,” Harris told reporters Tuesday evening during her trip to Mexico and Central America. “I cannot say it enough: Most people don’t want to leave home. And when they do, it is usually for one of two reasons: either they are fleeing harm or to stay home means they cannot satisfy the basic needs of their families.”
While she addressed the crime and corruption in the region, she maintained that climate change was a major factor in why there has been a migrant surge.
“I am here because the root causes are my highest priority in terms of addressing the issue, and we need to deal with it, both in terms of the poverty we are seeing, the hunger that we are seeing, the effects of the hurricanes and the extreme climate conditions, what we are seeing in terms of the pandemic,” she added.
The vice president has already been called out for her statement, and even the online tabloid The Daily Beast, which was extremely critical of former President Trump, responded. Ruben Navarrette Jr. of The Daily Beast noted, “President George W. Bush was right: Immigrants from Mexico come here to do jobs that Americans won’t do. And refugees from Central America come here to escape violence, with a plan to reunite with family members who are already in the United States—doing jobs that Americans won’t do. It’s no mystery what got us here. It’s the U.S. employers, stupid.”
However, blaming climate change for the ills of the world fits the narrative, which is why it has been one of the Biden administration’s four “signature crises” that helped get him elected – along with the economy, the coronavirus, and systemic racism.
Peter Suciu is a Michigan-based writer who has contributed to more than four dozen magazines, newspapers and websites. He regularly writes about military small arms, and is the author of several books on military headgear including A Gallery of Military Headdress, which is available on Amazon.com.