Defense Secretary James Mattis has long been outspoken on the dangers of climate change. For him, it’s not just about going green; it’s about national security.
“Climate change is impacting stability in areas of the world where our troops are operating today,” Mattis wrote in unpublished testimony, provided to senators after his confirmation hearing and reported by ProPublica Tuesday. “It is appropriate for the Combatant Commands to incorporate drivers of instability that impact the security environment in their areas into their planning.”
That testimony was part of 58 pages of written answers to “questions for the record” posed to Mattis by members of the Senate Armed Services Committee. Five questions from Democratic senators centered on the issue of climate change, and Mattis answered each one in depth.
“The effects of a changing climate — such as increased maritime access to the Arctic, rising sea levels, desertification, among others — impact our security situation,” Mattis wrote. “I will ensure that the department continues to be prepared to conduct operations today and in the future, and that we are prepared to address the effects of a changing climate on our threat assessments, resources, and readiness.”
Mattis promised to bring to light the dangers of climate change to U.S. national security interests and to work with other cabinet members to address the issue.
“Climate change is a challenge that requires a broader, whole-of government response,” he wrote. “If confirmed, I will ensure that the Department of Defense plays its appropriate role within such a response by addressing national security aspects.”
It is unclear, however, if Mattis’ view on climate change will have any influence on the White House, which has vowed to pass legislation that will scale back the Environmental Protection Agency’s powers and reverse a number of climate initiatives started under former President Barack Obama.
Even so, “Mattis’ statements could hearten world leaders who have urged the Trump administration to remain engaged on addressing global warming,” ProPublica’s Andrew Revkin speculated, adding, “German Chancellor Angela Merkel is scheduled to meet Trump on Friday.”
ProPublica asked the White House and “half a dozen” other cabinet departments historically involved in climate policy about Mattis’ comments; none gave a response on the record. A State Department spokeswoman punted the question, saying climate issues were up to the White House and its National Security Council: “We refer you to the NSC for any additional information on the climate working group.”
An Oregon Air National Guard F-15C Eagle that made an emergency landing on Wednesday ditched its entire arsenal of live air-to-air missiles before touching down at Portland International Airport, The War Zone reports.
President Donald Trump announced in December that he would withdraw all U.S. troops from Syria, but Sen. Lindsey Graham has since made a strong push to keep a small residual force along the Turkish border along with troops from European allies.
The former Navy SEAL among a group of eight men arrested earlier this week in Port-au-Prince on weapons charges says he was providing security work "for people who are directly connected to the current President" of Haiti.
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It's a photo for the ages: a Marine NCO, a Greek god in his dress blues, catches the eye of a lovely young woman as her boyfriend urges her on in distress. It's the photographic ancestor of the much-loved "distracted boyfriend" stock photo meme, made even sweeter by the fact that this is clearly a sailor about to lose his girl to a Devil Dog.
Well, this photo and the Marine in it, which hopscotched around Marine Corps Facebook and Instagram pages before skyrocketing to the front page of Reddit on Thursday, are very real.
The photo shows then-Staff Sgt. Louis A. Capozzoli — and he is absolutely not on his way to steal your girl.