CIA Forms Semi-Secret Unit on Climate and Security

January 12, 2011

The Central Intelligence Agency has formed a unit — a kind of spooky think-tank — called the Center on Climate Change and National Security, to study exactly that. The 2010 floods that displaced millions and destabilized the government of Pakistan brought closer the possibility of a Taliban takeover of that nuclear-armed state. Whether or not climate change exacerbated that flood event, the security issue is a real one of national importance.

The CIA's Center is not entirely secret — since the agency issued a press release September 25, 2009, to announce its formation (no press contact given).

But a recent story on the Center by the Medill National Security Reporting Project was noteworthy in that all of its sources were unnamed. The piece quoted one analyst "agreeing to talk only if his name were not revealed, for security reasons."

Is it a security risk for the American public to find out the risks presented by climate change?