RELEASE: The Council on Strategic Risks Offers Recommendations for the Next U.S. Administration on Biological, Climate and Nuclear Threats

Washington, DC, October 20, 2020 – Today, the Council on Strategic Risks (CSR) released important new policy recommendations: “Confronting Systemic Security Risks: Proposals for the Next U.S. Administration.” The briefer offers policy ideas for consideration by the national security leaders of the next Presidential Administration, and covers three important areas of global strategic risk: biological threats, climate threats, and nuclear threats. 

“Many of the most serious security threats facing the United States today arise from rapid developments spiraling across a complex and changing globe,” the report states. “Each of these risks will require an integrated approach across the Federal government, pairing the analytic systems of the Pentagon and intelligence community with the early warning capabilities of our diplomatic and development experts. To prevent the worst impacts, a well-rounded U.S. security community must be prepared and responsive as soon as a new strategic threat emerges.”

The proposals summarize ideas from across a wide range of recent research conducted by issues experts at the Council, and offer insights into structural and policy options to better orient government towards confronting these growing threats. To ensure leadership at the highest levels, the report proposes the creation of a dedicated White House Strategy on Confronting Strategic Security Risks that can integrate planning in the interagency process.

Speaking on the launch of the proposals, Christine Parthemore, CEO of the Council on Strategic Risks said, “The next President can make tangible progress against the world’s gravest threats. We know the biological, climate, and nuclear threats we face, and the American people have the knowledge and technologies we need to address them. These bold yet relatively simple actions will do immeasurable good for U.S. security.”   

Hon. John Conger, Director of the Center for Climate and Security (CCS), an institute of CSR, said “Cross-cutting systemic threats do not replace traditional security challenges, they amplify them.  We’re turning the heat up on a globe that’s already simmering with tension, and unless we act now, they will boil over into instability and conflict.”

Francesco Femia, CSR and CCS Co-Founder & Research Director, said “U.S. security leaders, including the President of the United States, have an urgent responsibility to prepare for unavoidable systemic threats, and to prevent those we can foresee, including biological, climate and nuclear threats. These proposals, building from that Responsibility to Prepare and Prevent, offer concrete steps that any U.S. government can take to minimize future risk. We can see a lot of these threats coming. There’s no excuse for being unprepared.”

Kate Guy, Senior Research Fellow with the Center for Climate and Security (CCS), said, “The global damage brought about by the coronavirus pandemic and climate change-induced disasters prove the devastation potential of strategic threats, if we don’t have a ready playbook to address them. To be able to confront these growing global risks, the U.S. Administration needs to integrate long-term planning at the highest levels of government.”

Read “Confronting Systemic Security Risks: Proposals for the Next U.S. Administration”: Here

Direct inquiries to:  Francesco Femia, ffemia at csrisks dot org, Whatsapp: +1-571-263-5691 

Follow us on Twitter: @CSRisks

More resources:

Biological Threats

For additional details, refer to Making Bioweapons Obsolete and Pathogen Detection, Mapping and Early Warning.

Climate Threats

For more detailed proposals, please refer to our Climate Security Plan for America, Security Threat Assessment of Global Climate Change, Responsibility to Prepare and Prevent: A Climate Security Governance Framework, and World Climate and Security Report 2020.

Nuclear Threats

For more detailed proposals, refer to CSR’s work on improving nuclear strategic stability, a smarter U.S. nuclear modernization program, and the future of arms control



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