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The time is long overdue to acknowledge that global climate and resource stresses, encompassed by the concept of environmental security (ES), are an increasingly important part of "homeland" security (HS) study and practice, by even the most restricted definitions of HS. Environmental security issues will affect global economic and political stability, US national interests, and the risk of war and terrorism. Just as homeland security encompasses many complex issues and interconnected subfields, environmental security (ES) is interdisciplinary by nature. In essence, ES is an emergent discipline borrowing from a combination of environmental studies — which decades ago integrated environmental science with public policy — and the broader observations of how environmental change, extreme weather events and resource scarcity issues impact domestic and international security. In a two-part argument, we first observe the growing environmental and resource-related security threats at every level of analysis, from global to individual levels as consequences of warming-induced climate alterations. Next, given the significant impacts on local, regional, and international geopolitical stability, we discuss why environmental security threats must be incorporated into both homeland and national security strategic planning. Developing a theory of environmental security seems central to a more complete understanding of homeland security and a more modern concept of national security.

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Homeland Security Affairs