Artikel mit ‘Migration’ getagged

Klimawandel, Sicherheit und die Ambitionen des Pentagon

Mittwoch, 21. Oktober 2009

Auf hat Betsy Hartmann, Publizistin und Proffessorin für Entwicklungspolitik in Hampshire, einen großartigen Artikel über die Gefahren veröffentlichen, die mit einer thematischen Verknüpfung von Klimawandel und Nationaler Sicherheit einhergehen: Anything Goes: The Dangers of Linking Climate Change to National Security.
Zunächst schreibt sie von der eher gutwilligen Absicht hinter dieser Verknüpfung, dass damit auch konservative Senatsmitglieder davon zu überzeugen, für eine Reduktion des CO2-Ausstoßes zu stimmen. Sie warnt aber vor den mittel- und langfristigen Folgen dieser Verknüpfung und verweist auf einige vom Pentagon finanzierte Studien, welche diese Verknüpfung seit 2003 vorantrieben, indem sie apokalyptische Bilder der Dritten Welt zeichneten, welch durch den Klimawandel in pures Chaos und nackte Gewalt umschlagen würde. Nach einer etwas kurz geratenen Kritik an den Grundannahmen dieser Bilder (Adaptionsfähigkeit im globalen Norden, Tendenzen zu Gewalt im Süden) stellt sie die Motivation dar, mit welcher das Pentagon diese Verknüpfung vorantreibt. Dabei vergisst sie zu erwähnen, dass sich das Militär grundsätzlich nach Problemen sucht, für die es “Lösungen” bereit stellen kann. Stattdessen aber verweist sie auf die Ansätze zur vernetzten Sicherheit und zum “whole-of-government approach toward security” mit dem sich das Pentagon Dominanz über alle anderen Außenpolitikbereiche sichern und humanitäre und Entwicklungshilfe stärker vereinnahmen will. Sie beschreibt auch, wie ein solcher vernetzter Ansatz im AFRICOM bereits konzeptionell vorgesehen ist und welche Kritik es daran gibt.
Sehr guter und empfehlenswerter Artikel, der sich fast 1:1 auf Deutschland übertragen lässt.

Anything Goes: The Dangers of Linking Climate Change to National Security
by Betsy Hartmann

Do the ends justify the means? This age-old question has relevance to today’s climate debate. This fall the Senate has the historic opportunity to pass legislation to curb U.S. carbon emissions. To win conservative votes, leading supporters of climate legislation are now recklessly playing the national security card. While in the short term this strategy may garner some votes, in the long term it threatens to militarize climate policy and subvert the mission of U.S. humanitarian and development aid.

Momentum is building fast. In July a Senate Foreign Relations Committee hearing on climate change and global security raised the specter of climate-induced chaos, terrorism and mass migration in poor and unstable regions that might necessitate an American military response. The New York Times moved quickly to embrace the strategy. A lead editorial ( proclaimed that this reasoning plays well on Capitol Hill “where many politicians will do anything for the Pentagon.” It concludes that while national security is not the only reason to address climate change, “anything that advances the cause is welcome.”


Admittedly, there are some legitimate reasons for the Pentagon to be worried about climate change. As the largest consumer of energy in the U.S., the Department of Defense has a responsibility to reduce its own emissions. Concerns about the effects of rising ocean waters on military bases or who will control new shipping channels in the Arctic are grounded in physical reality. But much of the way climate change is being framed as a national security threat is pure ideology, based on unscientific scenarios designed to instill fear of those poor, dark, dangerous people over there.

The first such scenario appeared in 2003. Sponsored by the Pentagon, An Abrupt Climate Change Scenario painted a world of starving Third World masses overshooting the carrying capacity of their lands, engaging in violent conflict over scarce resources, and storming en masse towards U.S. and European borders. Even the climate scientists interviewed for the project considered the findings too extreme.

A next round of influential scenarios on climate and security was undertaken in 2006-7 by the Washington think tanks, Center for a New American Security (CNAS) and the Center for Strategic and International Studies (CSIS). The Wall Street Journal dubbed CNAS as a “top farm team” for the Obama administration’s national security apparatus. Michele Flournoy, co-founder of CNAS, is now Undersecretary of Defense for Policy.

The CNAS-CSIS project predicts that as the mercury rises, so will the violence of the poor, especially in Africa. With a rise of 4.7 degrees by 2040, Western governments will have to engage in triage and decide which of the poor are worth saving. There is hope, however — war, disease and draconian population control measures might restore an environmentally sustainable relationship between people and nature. The scenarios were supposedly developed by a diverse group of experts, but serious scholars from the Global South are conspicuous by their absence.

There’s a powerful exceptionalism at work in these scenarios. While it is commonly assumed that resource scarcity can lead to institutional and technological innovation in the West, just the opposite is assumed for poor people in developing countries. Climate change-induced scarcities automatically render them into victims/villains, incapable of innovation, adaptation or livelihood diversification, and naturally prone to violence. They are savages and we are not.

The scenarios also neglect the political and economic causes of conflict, including the role of foreign intervention through financial or military means. In Africa, violent conflict is actually connected more closely to competition over resource abundance (rich oil and mineral reserves, valuable timber, diamonds, etc.) than resource scarcity. A recent World Bank study by Norwegian researchers found that current alarms about climate conflict are not based on substantive evidence (

Unfortunately, evidence is not really the issue here. The beating of the climate conflict drums should be viewed in the context of larger orchestrations in U.S. national security policy. In recent years the military has moved to exercise more control over humanitarian and development aid. In 2005 the share of US foreign aid dispersed by the Pentagon was 22 percent, up from six percent three years before. Obama’s defense policy views aid as an essential component of stabilizing restive populations, taming “ungoverned spaces” in Africa and Central Asia where terrorists may lurk, and building a “whole-of-government” approach toward security, shorthand for Pentagon dominance of most aspects of foreign policy.

The new U.S. military command for Africa, AFRICOM, is an example of what may lie in store. AFRICOM seeks to integrate U.S. military objectives more firmly with development ones and its staff includes senior officials of the U.S. Agency for International Development. This approach has generated criticism from inside the national security establishment as well as outside. Writing in Joint Forces Quarterly (, Ambassador Edward Marks calls AFRICOM’s creation “a retrograde move” that threatens “the increasing militarization of our foreign relations.” Supporters of AFRICOM are already deploying the threat of climate conflict as a justification for its existence.

The climate change-national security linkage could also provide a rationale for investments in grandiose and risky schemes to control the weather. This March an official advisory group to the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) convened a meeting to discuss the possibility of geo-engineering as a response to global warming.

History is full of examples of how ends do not justify the means, and indeed how bad means lead to bad ends. The cavalier attitude that “anything goes” when it comes to passing climate legislation is pushing us down a dangerous road. In a democratic society, civilian institutions should determine climate policy and the disbursement of foreign aid. Should U.S. assistance be needed to help poor communities cope with the impacts of climate change, the Pentagon should stay out of it.

Betsy Hartmann is the director of the Population and Development Program ( and professor of development studies at Hampshire College in Amherst, MA. She writes on population, environment and security issues. Her most recent book is the political thriller Deadly Election. See

Bericht über illegalen Handel in Westafrika

Mittwoch, 15. Juli 2009

Mitte Juni hat die Regierung von Guinea(-Conakry) ihre Streitkräfte mobilisiert mit der Begründung in den angrenzenden Staaten Senegal, Guinea Bissau und Liberia hätten sich im Auftrag von Drogenhändlern bewaffnete Gruppen an den Grenzen zu Guinea versammelt. Gewerkschaften und Opposition sind skeptisch, ob tatsächlich eine solche Bedrohung besteht und vermuten eher, die Militärregierung wolle von innenpolitischen Problemen ablenken.

Fast zeitgleich veröffentlichte das UN-Büro für Drogen- und Verbrechensbekämpfung einen ausführlichen Bericht “Transnational Trafficking and the Rule of Law in West Africa: a Threat Assessment”. Die Ergebnisse sind hier zusammengefasst, wobei bemerkenswert ist, welch unterschiedliche Phänomene, die jedoch allesamt auf State Failure zurückgeführt werden werden:

* Cocaine trafficking through the region is decreasing, although flows of 20 tons (valued at $1 billion at destination) still have a destabilizing impact on regional security;
* In Nigeria, 55 million barrels of oil a year (a tenth of production) are lost through theft and smuggling (”bunkering”). Illegal oil bunkering, particularly in the Niger Delta, is a source of pollution, corruption and revenue for insurgents and criminal groups;
* As much as 80 per cent of the cigarette market in some West and North African countries is illicit, meaning that cigarette sales in those countries chiefly profit criminals;
* 50-60 per cent of all medications used in West Africa may be substandard or counterfeit. This increases health risks in a region where there is high demand for anti-infective and antimalarial drugs, and promotes the development of drug-resistant strains which are a hazard to the entire world;
* West Africa is a major destination for electronic waste (including old computers and mobile phones), also known as “e-waste”, which contains heavy metals and other toxins. The European Union alone produces 8.7 million tons of e-waste each year.

Die Medien greifen das natürlich insofern auf, als von Westafrika eine Bedrohung ausginge (einer der ausgewogeneren Artikel hier), obwohl viele der benannten illegalen Aktivitäten v.a. die Bevölkerung vor Ort betreffen (Lagerung von giftigem Müll) und diese auch zunehmend diejenigen Drogen abnimmt, die eigentlich angeblich für Europa bestimmt waren.

Der Abschnitt über den Kokain-Export über Westafrika ist ganz interessant, problematisch ist, dass er hauptsächlich Nigerianer im Auftrag lateinamerikanischer Drogenbosse verantwortlich macht. Er zeichnet aber ein deutlich rückläufigen Trend, anscheinend auch wegen verstärkter Kontrolltätigkeiten, die aber leider nicht näher beschrieben werden (genannt wird nur INTERPOL), andere, wie das europäische Operationszentrum für den Kampf gegen den Drogenhandel im Atlantik (MAOC-N) werden nicht benannt.

Spannend sind auch die Abschnitte über den Handel mit Waffen und Munition sowie Giftmüll (vorwiegend aus USA und Europa). Menschenhandel und “illegale Migration”, letzteres wird einseitig als Arbeitsmigration bezeichnet, werden getrennt behandelt. Obwohl der Abschnitt über Arbeitsmigration nach Europa v.a. auf den Daten europäischer Sicherheitsbehörden basiert, nimmt er auch ein wenig eine afrikanische Perspektive ein. Im Gegensatz zu den sonst bekannten Verlautbarungen wird in der Übersicht recht nüchtern festgestellt:

“Some 20,000 West Africans entered European soil illegally in 2008. For most of these, no repatriation agreement exists with their home country, so they were released in Europe with an order to return. In this way, they effectively emigrated. To get to this point, most had to pay for the professional services of at least one smuggling group. Not all of these are sophisticated criminal organizations, however, and may be little more than a man with access to a bus or a boat.”

Negativ anzumerken ist, dass der ganze Bericht im Stil einer Risikoanalyse (wie sie gerade bei der global governance sehr hip ist) gehalten ist und dass der illegale Fischfang und Holzexport nach Europa keine Rolle spielt.

Am 10.7.2009 wurde der Bericht auch im UN-Sicherheitsrat diskutiert. In dessen Pressemitteilung zum Thema heißt es u.a.:

Illicit drug trafficking and other criminal activities also threaten peace and stability in the region, with the value of trafficked goods in some cases exceeding the gross domestic product (GDP) of West African nations, which are among the world’s poorest. For example, the income derived from illegally selling oil or trafficking cocaine, worth $1 billion annually each, rivals the GDP of Cape Verde and Sierra Leone, according to a new report by the UN Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC).
An “approach of shared responsibility” is crucial to addressing the problem, the Council said, welcoming efforts undertaken by West African nations, especially the regional action plan of the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS).
It also welcomed this week’s launch of a new initiative, which seeks to address West Africa’s porous borders, weak governance and corruption, which have been allowed traffickers to operate in a climate of impunity.
Called the West Africa Coast Initiative, it is a partnership among UNODC, the UN Office for West Africa (UNOWA), the UN Department of Peacekeeping Operations (DPKO) and the Department of Political Affairs (DPA), along with the ECOWAS and Interpol.

Dass das DPKO beteiligt ist, lässt nichts Gutes erahnen…