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Is the 2010 QDR Too Soft?

Military to take on climate change, focus on the human terrain

12:33 PM, Feb 1, 2010 • By JOHN NOONAN
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Is the 2010 QDR Too Soft?

According to a draft copy of the Quadrennial Defense Review, DoD wonks are planning to mold an already over-tasked military to meet rising challenges associated with global warming climate change.


Consider how drastically the Pentagon has been forced to adapt since the end of the Cold War. Forces have shifted from hulking divisions pointed at the Fulda Gap to a lighter, stability and stabilization model. They've had to adapt to a rising role in humanitarian relief efforts, most evident during Katrina, the Indian Ocean tsunami, and now in Haiti. Further, the Armed Forces experienced a volatile 1990s, as the Clinton administration's various social experimentations with military culture dislodged 200 years of tradition and courtesies. All this while they've suffered through two decades of unchecked defense cuts, leaving our men and women in uniform with triple the number of missions with a fraction of the resources.


Now we are proposing a massive shakeup to Pentagon policy through the repeal of Don't Ask, Don't Tell, and by adding yet another core mission -- Climate Change, which has nothing to do with winning battles -- to an already crowded task list. Armies must adapt to an ever changing security landscape and many of these changes (like humanitarian relief) are worthy -- that much is obvious. But is it wise to continue to violently disrupt a culture which is fueled by tradition and a fierce warrior ethos by forcing them to constantly adjust to the popular political trends of the day?

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