Whitehouse underscores threats climate change and kleptocracy pose to national security
U.S. Senator Sheldon Whitehouse (D-RI) today welcomed a new class of more than 500 graduate students to the U.S. Naval War College in Newport. Whitehouse underscored the security risks posed by the climate crisis and kleptocratic threats to the rule of law around the world.
“Make no mistake: climate risk is a security risk, and democracy risk is a security risk,” said Whitehouse. “The next generation of military leaders will need to find solutions to the cascading national security threats caused by climate change and defending democracy from corruption and criminality. America must lead by example in addressing both of these issues.”
Whitehouse addressed the incoming class of students pursuing graduate education at the Naval War College. The class includes representatives of all six branches of the U.S. armed services, civilian employees of the federal government, and international military officers from partner and allied nations.
Whitehouse has been a leading voice on the national security threat posed by climate change. Whitehouse’s Securing Energy for our Armed Forces Using Engineering Leadership (SEA FUEL) Act was passed as part of the FY 2020 National Defense Authorization Act. The legislation marked the first time a federal program was created for dedicated research and deployment of direct air capture and blue carbon technologies.
Whitehouse has also led the fight against kleptocracy and corruption. The version of the FY 2024 National Defense Authorization Act that recently passed the Senate included Whitehouse’s Foreign Extortion Prevention Act, which would combat kleptocracy and corruption by criminalizing bribery demands by foreign officials. Whitehouse successfully passed into law the Corporate Transparency Act—the most important anti-money laundering reform in two decades. Late last year, Senators Whitehouse and Graham passed bipartisan legislation to ensure Russian President Vladimir Putin and his corrupt oligarchs pay for the reconstruction of Ukraine. Last year, Whitehouse secured $67 million in the Ukraine supplemental appropriations bill for the Department of Justice’s KleptoCapture program—an interagency law enforcement task force to enforce sanctions, export restrictions, and economic countermeasures that the United States has imposed on Russia.
Established in 1884, the Naval War College is the oldest institution of its kind in the world. The college delivers excellence in education, research, and outreach, informing today’s decision-makers and educating tomorrow’s leaders. The college provides educational experiences and learning opportunities that develop students’ ability to anticipate and prepare strategically for the future, strengthen the foundations of peace, and create a decisive warfighting advantage.
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