Recently published information on the resumption of CIA studies into influencing the climate naturally attracts attention on the background of recent significant climate change detrimentally impacting the economy in general and the lives of citizens in many countries, especially in Southeast Asia, Africa, and Europe.
First came quite an innocuous-sounding message about a new research project of the U.S. National Academy of Sciences, which for 21 months would study “a limited number of proposed geoengineering techniques” and their “potential impacts”. This information probably would have passed unnoticed if the popular American magazine MotherJones had not revealed the source of funding of the research program: The U.S. Central Intelligence Agency had allocated $630,000 for its development.
Referring to recent history, it should be recalled that immediately after the Second World War, American intelligence agencies with the participation of the U.S. Air Force had already begun manipulating the climate through the implementation of a special program, Cirrus, on effecting the distribution of hurricanes by atmospheric dispersion of silver iodide. Later, in the years 1953-1971, the program was revived under the code name Stormfury, but its performance did not meet the U.S. hawks’ expectations. Meanwhile, during the Vietnam War, the CIA and the U.S. Air Force began to carry out the operation Popeye, the purpose of which was the artificial induction of monsoon rains to help flood the HoChiMinh aviation runway, which was used for supplying military equipment to the Viet Cong and of great importance to the Vietnamese.
The serious dangers posed by such experiments caused the United States and the Soviet Union in 1977 to conclude an international agreement prohibiting climate war. However, this did not prevent Washington from funding another project – HAARP, on the effect of high-frequency radiation on the climate. It is possible that this program is connected with the recent unusual climate changes and cataclysms in Europe, China and other regions of the world.
In September 2009, on the initiative of Leon Panetta, who headed the CIA at the time, a special Center on Climate Change and National Security was set up within the agency. This division led continuous monitoring of politically strategic, economic and social impacts of climate change and disasters, desertification of fertile land, rising sea levels, and adverse weather conditions for crop harvests. The U.S. intelligence agencies paid close attention to the influence of these factors on the forced migration of people around the world, and the struggle for natural resources and fertile land. In particular, the CIA looked into the possibility that public discontent in countries affected by climate change could be used by terrorist groups, or in clandestine operations by U.S. intelligence to change individual governments. Among the documents prepared by the center was “Climate Change 2030: More Extreme Weather” for the U.S. National Intelligence Council’s consolidated report “Global Trends 2030″. Another study, “Climate and Social Stress: Implications for Security Analysis”, was completed in October 2012 by the National Research Council of the U.S. Academy of Sciences. It contained a detailed analysis of climate change in a number of countries, including warming in Russia, floods in Pakistan and elsewhere. The study noted that frequent natural disasters (storms, droughts, floods), which had noticeably increased in recent times, could lead to numerous problems, including a resource crisis affecting drinking water, food, and energy. CIA experts determined that the most vulnerable regions included states mostly in Africa, South Asia and the Middle East. The Nile Basin was identified as a potentially vulnerable area, home to a large population (about 300 million people) in countries entirely dependent on the climate for their food policy. In addition, the CIA experts noted that recent large-scale acquisitions of fertile land in foreign states, by Saudi Arabia, China, and South Korea, among others, to grow food produce for their own populations, could cause more conflicts in the context of climate change.
After General David Petraeus became head of the CIA in July 2011 and put the focus on carrying out large-scale military operations to remove activists of terrorist organizations, the activities of the Center for Climate Change and National Security became the subject of increased criticism from Republicans in Congress. This criticism intensified in autumn 2012, when CIA budget cuts in 2013 were under consideration. In these circumstances the CIA announced its intention to close the Center for Climate Change and National Security at the end of 2012.
However, as evidenced by the above-mentioned report in MotherJones, the CIA budget cuts announced at the end of 2012 were merely populist rhetoric aimed at the average American. The White House always has resources for secret CIA operations in the Middle East and Southeast Asia, and for the development of new types of weapons – and as before, they will be applied to the detriment of the population of these regions.
Vladimir Odintsov, political analyst, especially for the online magazine “New Eastern Outlook”.