Military leaders discuss climate change’s impact on security

By Staff Sgt. Jacob LeadinghamMarch 2, 2024

Senior Leadership Seminar Highlights Cobra Gold 24 Partnership
Senior military leaders from partner Indo-Pacific countries participated in a conference discussing the impacts of climate change on regional security at a seminar during joint exercise Cobra Gold 2024 in Rayong, Thailand, Feb.27, 2024. This seminar kicked off the humanitarian assistance component of the annual exercise that highlights the strategic alliance between the United States and Thailand. (U.S. Army National Guard photo by Staff Sgt. Jacob Leadingham) (Photo Credit: Staff Sgt. Jacob Leadingham) VIEW ORIGINAL

RAYONG, Thailand - Senior military delegates from over ten Indo-Pacific countries and the United States participated in a senior leadership seminar to prompt a discussion of climate change effects on security and geopolitical instability, Feb. 27, 2024 . The three-hour seminar was a key feature of Cobra Gold 2024, the 43rd annual joint exercise that highlights the strategic alliance between Thailand and the United States.

Joseph Martin, director at the Center for Excellence in Disaster Management and Humanitarian Assistance, who led the first half of the seminar, said his organization made a firm commitment eight years ago to conduct the training on behalf of the U.S. Indo-Pacific Command.

“This is a unique sort of team building and engagement opportunity, with countries that otherwise you wouldn’t be able to reach out to during this event,” said Martin,

Director of Climate, Environment & Conflict, Dr. Tegan Blaine, from the U.S. Institute of Peace centered the seminar’s second half around security issues the represented nation’s forces may be expected to respond to in the coming decades.

“I think the goal of today’s seminar was to talk about… one of those issues, which is the security issues around migration and displacement and what that means for military professionals operating in the Asia-Pacific region,” said Blaine.