Today, the U.S. commander of all pacific forces, Admiral Samuel Locklear III, stated that climate change was the biggest threat to national security.  Yes, you read that correctly.  Climate change. Before I’m castigated as a Neanderthal, I see his argument.  I really do.  Massive climate change engenders a plethora of natural disasters, which break down societal structures and cause a weakening of the overall state architecture.  But listing this as THE threat to the United States?  Maybe in three hundred years.  But if we’re looking at probabilities such as that, then why not go a little further?  Using his logic, I’d unequivocally state the opposite.  It’s not global warming we need to worry about.  It’s the absolute coldness of outer space.  Without a doubt, the sun burning out of fuel is the greatest threat to United States national security. It won’t happen for a billion years, but what the hell, when it does, we’re looking at some serious effects to our way of life.

How on earth did this man rise to his current position?  North Korea just nullified the armistice that ended the Korean War, in effect going back on war footing after 60 years of peace.  They’re also furiously researching and testing missile systems that can deliver a nuclear warhead to our shores.  China is waging a shadow war using cyber attacks, infiltrating our infrastructure in such a way as to destroy our transportation, electrical, financial and communications architecture in the event of hostilities.  And climate change is his top priority?  Really?

I understand that climate change could possibly cause security concerns—albeit at a glacial pace—but if you wanted to look at non-traditional threats across the board, I’d say that a weakened United States would rank right up there, as we are a stabilizing force throughout the pacific—to include providing massive relief for the very natural disasters he’s fretting about—and yet we can only provide such assistance as long as we can afford it.  Our national debt ranks as a much higher near-term threat to security than climate change.  Make no mistake, at the rate we’re spending, we’re going to be in financial ruin long before the Hawaiian Islands are swallowed by rising seawater and massive heat waves kill all the crops.

It disturbs me to see our top commander in the pacific, who prioritizes our national assets to protect national interests, more concerned about a potential threat in the year 2313 than actual threats currently staring us in the face.  North Korea is no joke, and China is rapidly becoming a peer competitor to Locklear’s vaunted navy.  Neither are friends to the United States.

Maybe Admiral Locklear needs to spend a little less time staring at a thermometer in Hawaii and a little more time reading open source news reports about his region, because I’m positive he’s ignoring his intelligence summaries.  He might stand to learn a thing or two about current threats to our nation located within his AOR.