"Why the CIA Is Spying on a Changing Climate"

"WASHINGTON — Last summer, as torrential rains flooded Pakistan, a veteran intelligence analyst watched closely from his desk at CIA headquarters just outside the capital.

For the analyst, who heads the CIA's year-old Center on Climate Change and National Security, the worst natural disaster in Pakistan's history was a warning.

'It has the exact same symptoms you would see for future climate change events, and we're expecting to see more of them,' he said later, agreeing to talk only if his name were not revealed, for security reasons. 'We wanted to know: What are the conditions that lead to a situation like the Pakistan flooding? What are the important things for water flows, food security … radicalization, disease' and displaced people?

As intelligence officials assess key components of state stability, they are realizing that the norms they had been operating with — such as predictable river flows and crop yields — are shifting."

Charles Mead and Annie Snider report for the Medill National Security Reporting Project via McClatchy Newspapers January 10, 2011.

Monday, January 10, 2011