RUSI published a good article this week asking if environmental issues should play a greater role in national security thinking.
Apart from the ridiculous use of the term ‘climate change denier’ the article describes how many politicians have reinforced calls for climate change, and flooding, to be considered as a national security risk.
The thing is though RUSI, you are 4 years too late!
SDSR 2010 was pretty explicit in this regards, perhaps you forgot.
The National Security Council has the Secretary of State for Energy and Climate Change as one of its permanent members. One of the 14 published security policies is Maintaining operational readiness to provide military support for activities in the UK, another, Improving the UK’s ability to absorb, respond to and recover from emergencies.
The 2010 National Security Strategy identified a number of major risks, classified into three tiers, which the adaptable posture of the Strategic Defence and Security Review was designed to address.
One of the ONLY THREE Tier 1 risks was;
A major accident or natural hazard which requires a national response, such as severe coastal flooding affecting three or more regions of the UK, or an influenza pandemic
The 2012 to 2013 Annual Report on the National Security Strategy and Strategic Defence and Security Review had plenty to say about the Number 3 tier 1 Risk.
Perhaps the question to ask is why, despite the recognised Tier 1 risk of an ‘accident or natural hazard which requires a national response’ the overall preventative measures seem to have completely broke down and the response was fragmented, sometimes lacking in coordination and adhoc.
Service personnel filling sandbags, come on, we should be able to do better.