David Michel, Nonresident Fellow in Stimson’s Environmental Security program, contributed a chapter on “Iran’s Impending Water Crisis” to the book Water, Security, and US Foreign Policy.
The prosperity and national security of the United States depend directly on the prosperity and stability of both partner and competing countries around the world. Today, U.S. interests are under rising pressure from water scarcity, extreme weather events and water-driven ecological change in key geographies of strategic interest to the U.S. Those water-driven stresses are undermining economic productivity, weakening governance systems and fraying social cohesion in scores of countries and, in the process, undermining the vitality of rural livelihoods, fostering local and ethnic conflicts, driving broad migratory movements and contributing to the growth of insurgencies and terrorist networks.
While the U.S. intelligence community has steadily expanded natural resource concerns in their global threat analyses, our overseas development assistance remains locked into provision of water and hygienic services rather than responding to the full sweep of global water challenges including governance and policy failures, growing conflicts over water and the need for promoting sustainable transboundary water arrangements in partner countries. A fundamental departure from the past is urgently needed.
Based on 18 case studies, Water, Security and U.S. Foreign Policy provides an analytical framework to help policy makers, scholars and researchers studying the intersection of U.S. foreign policy with the environment and sustainability issues, interpret the impacts of water-driven social disruptions on the stability of partner governments and U.S. interests abroad. The book also delivers specific recommendations to reorient U.S. development and diplomatic engagements that can forestall and prevent social disruptions and ensuing threats to U.S. prosperity and national security.
View more details and purchase the book here.