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Relationship Between Climatologic Natural Disasters And Terrorism

1613 words - 6 pages

In the wake of the devastating earthquake that hit Port-au-Prince, Haiti, questions have surfaced concerning the future stability within the country . Though the estimates of the number of casualties range between the tens of thousands and hundreds of thousands depending upon the source, the scale and variance of the estimates are telling signs of the destruction and chaos that the earthquake has generated. As the Haitian people begin the long and arduous task of rebuilding both their own lives and their country, one must ask how this shock will affect the underlying political and societal stability. In a country that was already the focus of a continued United Nations stabilization effort since 2004, the earthquake is a serious setback that will take time to recover from (United Nations, 2010). –MORE SOURCES NEEDED
The concern surrounding natural disasters is further emphasized by mounting evidence of a relationship between climate change and climate related natural disasters (Bender, et al., 2010) (Mann & Emanuel, 2006) (Meehl & Tebaldi, 2004) (van Aalst, 2006). The problem is exacerbated as developing countries are likely to be worst affected by climate change and are the most likely contributors to future growth in CO2 emissions (Stern, 2006). Although the potential for climate change to create both security and geopolitical challenges has been realized by military and intelligence planners for some years now, the Obama administration has made it a focus by including in the recently released 2010 Quadrennial Defense Review. The QDR stipulates that climate change alone will not necessarily cause conflict but that in combination with other factors it may act as a catalyst to instability. The report also emphasizes the concern towards extreme weather events as they are likely to put strains on humanitarian assistance both internally and overseas (QDR, 2010). Though not directly stated in the QDR, evidence of the relationship between climate change and the frequency and severity of extreme weather events continues to mount. Studies have investigated this relationship and have found there to be a positive correlation between climate change and the frequency and severity of extreme weather events (Bender, et al., 2010)–MORE SOURCES NEEDED. Being able to relate the models of increasingly extreme weather events to how they can affect global conflict will be a crucial necessity for policy makers in the years to come (Buhaung, Gleditsch, & Theisen, 2008).
Natural disasters and their ensuing chaos present possible opportunities for terrorist groups and extremist organizations to exploit. Disasters are by nature the result of environmental shock and societal weakness (Redmond, Mahoney, Ryan, Macnab, & Owen, 2006). Just by declaring a disaster, a government has signaled a lacking capability to keep its people safe from external shocks. In turn this damages the legitimacy of a government in the eyes of the people and any opposition groups. ...

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