Elizabeth L. Chalecki is an Associate Professor of International Relations and Environmental Sustainability at the University of Nebraska Omaha, a Research Fellow in the Environmental Change and Security Program at the Woodrow Wilson Center, and a Research Chair with Fulbright Canada. Her expertise lies in the areas of climate change and security, international environmental policy, and the intersection of science/technology and International Relations. Dr. Chalecki has authored groundbreaking research on geoengineering and just war, and has published over 25 books, articles, and chapters on diverse topics such as climate change and Arctic security, environmental terrorism, climate change and international law, public perceptions of environmental issues, and water in outer space. She also serves as an environmental security subject matter expert for NATO. Dr. Chalecki holds a Ph.D. in International Relations from the Fletcher School of Law & Diplomacy at Tufts University, a M.Sc. in Environmental Geography from the University of Toronto, and an M.A. from Boston University.
In our interview with Dr. Chalecki, we explore the broad global security implications of climate change and manipulation; their effects on Army and DoD readiness, operations, and mission requirements; and potential approaches for mitigating and regulating these threats. The following bullet points highlight key insights from our discussion:
Stay tuned to the Mad Scientist Laboratory for our next episode of The Convergence podcast — featuring CPT Maggie Smith and MAJ Joe Littell from the Army Cyber Institute, United States Military Academy, West Point, discussing the impact of information operations on recruitment, retention, and overall force readiness, as well as re-thinking our processes for gaining information advantage over our adversaries.
If you enjoyed this post, check out Dr. Chalecki‘s presentation on Avoiding a Climate Arms Race, from last year’s Climate Change – Threats, Resilience, and Adaptation Webinar; as well as her works page, Should We Govern Geoengineering like Nuclear Weapons or the Internet? and Geoengineering Must Stay Peaceful;
Manipulating the Climate: What Are the Geopolitical Risks? by our colleagues at RAND Review;
… and Shén fēng: Military Use of Weather Modification Technology, by Rory Fedorochko;
… as well as the following Mad Scientist content on climate change:
“The Heat is On” in “The Queue” Redux!
Climate Change: Destroyer of World, by CPT Kyle Hallowell
On Thin Ice…, by proclaimed Mad Scientist Seth Gnesin
Water: A Fluid Challenge for the Future, by proclaimed Mad Scientist Caroline Duckworth
Climate Change as a Threat Multiplier, by LTCOL Nathan Pierpoint, Australian Army
Climate Change Laid Bare: Why We Need To Act Now, by proclaimed Mad Scientist Sage Miller
Future Threats: Climate Change and Islamic Terror, by Matthew Ader
Disclaimer: The views expressed in this blog post do not necessarily reflect those of the Department of Defense, Department of the Army, Army Futures Command (AFC), or Training and Doctrine Command (TRADOC).
The second episode of The Convergence features Dr. Margarita Konaev, Research Fellow at Georgetown University's Center for Security and Emerging Technology (CSET). Dr. Konaev is an expert in Russian military innovation in emerging technologies and her research on international security, armed conflict, non-state actors and urban warfare in the Middle East, Russia, and Eurasia has been published by the Journal of Global Security Studies, Conflict Management and Peace Science, the French Institute of International Relations, the Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists, Lawfare, War on the Rocks, Modern War Institute, Foreign Policy Research Institute, and a range of other outlets.Previously, she was a Non-Resident Fellow with the Modern War Institute at West Point, a post-doctoral fellow at the Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy and a post-doctoral fellow at the University of Pennsylvania’s Perry World House. Before joining CSET, Dr. Konaev worked as a Senior Principal in the Marketing and Communication practice at Gartner. She holds a Ph.D. in Political Science from the University of Notre Dame, an M.A. in Conflict Resolution from Georgetown University, and a B.A. from Brandeis University. In this episode. Dr. Konaev provides her opinions on the role of technology in warfare, autonomous systems in the military, the ethical questions that arise, and the importance of diversity. ...
COL Stefan Banach (USA-Ret.) is a Distinguished Member of the 75th Ranger Regiment and served in that organization for nine years, culminating with command of the 3rd Ranger Battalion from 2001-2003. He led U.S. Army Rangers during a historic night combat parachute assault into Afghanistan on October 19, 2001, as the “spearhead” for the Global War on Terror. Steve subsequently led U.S. Army Rangers in a second combat parachute assault into Al Anbar Province in western Iraq in 2003. He served with distinction in the United States Army from 1983 to 2010. Since then, he has provided executive consulting services to a diverse range of clients at a number of prestigious institutions. Steve Banach also serves as the Director, Army Management Staff College, an element of Army University responsible for “igniting the leadership potential for every Army civilian.” In our interview with Steve Banach, we discussed global entanglement, multi-reality warfare, and the urgent need for a new paradigm and cognitive approach to warfare for the U.S. Army and larger Joint Force. The following bullet points highlight key insights from our interview: The U.S. military needs to develop a ‘fourth Army,’ whose form and function are capable of gaining logic from disorder. This Army will be better prepared to operate in the multi-reality, technologically integrated battlespace that is already upon us. The next war will be characterized by operations within the virtual battlespace. To prepare for this phase of warfare, the U.S. Army needs to develop new mental models to understand the vulnerabilities that arise from an increasingly interconnected world. Such an effort should feature the development of a ‘virtual battlespace maneuver’ Our ...
Dr. Zalman is a global futurist who helps leaders and organizations explore the implications of critical global trends and prepare their organizations for transformative change. She is a part-time professor of Strategic Foresight at Georgetown University and the CEO of the foresight consultancy Prescient, LLC, which she founded in 2017 after over a decade of hands-on experience accelerating change in public, private, and non-profit organizations. In today’s podcast, Dr. Zalman discusses forecasting and strategic foresight, paradigm shifts in thinking, and the nature versus the character of warfare: Strategic foresight is a way of thinking to develop an effective strategy that is appropriate for the moment. How to think like a futurist — If you can tell a compelling story that engages someone else in a shared aspiration (e.g., the American Dream), then you have a higher probability of realizing that vision. The point of foresight is to avoid being surprised. The key to marrying foresight and strategy is maintaining global situational awareness – remaining constantly vigilant and attuned to trends and events occurring around the world – and then using this knowledge to shape and affect strategically advantageous decisions. Avoiding surprise is a central tenet in the Army — so why do we feel surprised after an event like COVID? Because unpredictable events with major effects are either not taken seriously or are willfully ignored; consequently, they are not factored into institutional planning. Organizational culture must be receptive to discussing strategic foresight ideas that run counter to mainstream thought. What are the Army and DoD missing regarding the future? The power of the individual. Even in Great Power Conflict, individuals are able to wield inordinate influence and shape events via their phones, cameras, ...