THE EFFECTS OF CLIMATE CHANGE ON THE DEVELOPMENT OF TERRORIST NETWORKS IN THE MIDDLE EAST

  • John Lystad Florida State University

Abstract

Across the Middle East, terrorist organizations such as Da’esh have successfully exploited environmental conditions in pursuit of their objectives. Through targeting vulnerable populations affected by the early stages of climate change, Da’esh has been able to successfully supplant the government in certain regions of Iraq and Syria, including the major cities of Mosul and Raqqa. Exploiting these governments’ inability to relieve those affected by environmental disasters, Da’esh has proven that terrorist groups will be able to thrive throughout the 21st century, as changing climate conditions create suitable grounds for the emergence and success of terrorism. In the event that IPCC-projected climate change does occur, we can expect that much of the Middle East will become even more fertile for the cultivation of terrorist and insurgency groups. As a warming atmosphere forces millions into poverty and water scarcity reaches an alarming peak, terrorist organizations will have the capacity to prey upon the vulnerabilities of the destitute and disenfranchised, potentially growing more and more powerful until the power of these groups rivals and surpasses that of local governments.

Author Biography

John Lystad, Florida State University

John Lystad is a second-year student at Florida State University studying Sociology and International Affairs, taking particular interest in terrorism. John has previously worked as a research assistant under Dr. John Kelsay within the Department of Religion, studying the relationship between religion and several former leaders of prolific terrorist organizations.

Published
2020-11-12
Section
Research Articles