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Tipsheet

Biden Admin Puts 'Climate Crisis' on Pentagon Priority List Next to Russian, Chinese Threats

AP Photo/Susan Walsh

President Biden's Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin published a "Message to the Force" on Thursday meant to "reaffirm his three priorities," according to the Pentagon. Those priorities are "defending the Nation, taking care of our people, and succeeding through teamwork." 

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In his memo, Austin explains more about what falls under each of his three priorities, and one includes an injection of leftist politics.

Austin's message claims that, "over the past two years, we've made tremendous progress in all three areas" before pledging that "these same three priorities continue to guide all that we do."

When it comes to "defending the nation," Austin says the Department of Defense will "prioritize China as the 'pacing challenge,'" "tackle the acute Russian threat," "address advanced and persistent threats" such as North Korea and Iran, "innovate and modernize," and..."meet the climate crisis."

That is, the Biden administration's policy takeover of the Pentagon means that addressing climate change falls on the same priority level as dealing with China, Russia, Iran, and North Korea. 

Austin further explains why he's going to prioritize a focus on climate change:

Our strategy and planning addresses the security implications of our changing climate. We are developing new platforms that mitigate logistical risks in contested environments. We are also investing to improve mission resilience and cut the risks from extreme weather.

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After the Biden administration's disastrous withdrawal from Afghanistan, failure to dissuade Russia from invading Ukraine, halting response to escalating Chinese aggression aimed at Taiwan, overseeing Iran's accelerating nuclear weapon program, and failure to secure UN condemnation of North Korean nuke tests it sure seems like the Pentagon has some things to focus on doing better. 

To their credit, several of these items are listed by Austin as priorities. But the Pentagon has finite manpower and resources. By including climate change alongside the serious challenges means that some Pentagon efforts will be diverted from critical threats and allocated to climate change efforts, whatever those look like.

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