The Senate returns to Washington this week with an important opportunity to demonstrate seriousness about U.S. national security by supporting the New Strategic Arms Reduction Treaty in the Foreign Relations Committee this Thursday.
President Obama spoke to a special working group on climate change at the United Nations today, where he urged action. National security experts, retired military officials, and many prominent conservatives are in agreement that the challenge of climate change poses a threat to our way of life, global order, and our security. But tackling these issues will require action from all areas of government. After eight years of denial and dithering by President Bush, the Obama administration has broad public support for its efforts to revive international climate negotiations. But given America’s inability to pass effective legislation on climate change, the world remains skeptical.If the impact on our way of life and the generations that follow us isn’t enough, Senators should recognize that their inaction has dangerous consequences for our national security.
National security experts and retired military officials are in agreement that climate change poses a threat to our way of life, to the global order, and even to how we keep ourselves secure. This week’s G-8 summit, which sought to advance climate negotiations prior to meetings in Copenhagen in December, saw developing countries reject binding emission targets out of fear that it would stifle their development, as well as out of a sense that rich developed countries – the principal culprits of global warming – weren’t doing enough. Emerging economies are right that rich developed countries – especially the United States which is the largest per-capita emitter of greenhouse gases – have not done enough. The House of Representatives recently took a hugely important step in passing climate change legislation, but the legislation now looks to be bogged down in the Senate. If the impact on our way of life and the generations that follow us isn’t enough, Senators should recognize that their inaction has important consequences for our diplomacy and security.
Changes in military tactics can lead to short term gains, but only a comprehensive political strategy to bring Iraq’s warring factions together can lead to a permanent solution to the conflict. One year since the President announced the “surge,” it remains clear that he has no such strategy.
The U.S. Senate has an opportunity to strengthen America’s national security, support U.S. business interests, and protect the environment by simply ratifying a convention to which the United States already adheres.
On a press conference call today hosted by the National Security Network, Senator George Mitchell, former majority leader of the U.S. Senate, encouraged the President to sit down with Congress and work out their differences.