Water, Security and U.S. Foreign Policy  book cover
1st Edition

Water, Security and U.S. Foreign Policy

Edited By

David Reed

ISBN 9781138051515
Published June 9, 2017 by Routledge
438 Pages 49 B/W Illustrations

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Book Description

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.

Table of Contents

Foreword: General James L. Jones

Part I: In Search of a Mission

1. In Search of a Mission
David Reed

PartII: Conflict and Climate Change
Framing Note: The Social Dimensions of Water
David Reed

2. Development and Diplomacy: Water, the SDGs, and U.S. Foreign Policy
Erika Weinthal, Farah F. Hegazi, and Lesha Witmer

3. Climate Variability, Water, and Security in El Salvador
Herman Rosa

4. Panama: Water Security and Social Conflict in the Climate Change Era 
Ariel Cuschnir

5. Mexico’s Pursuit of Water Security
Román Gómez González Cosío

6. Who Stole the Water: Water, Security, and U.S. Foreign Policy in Guatemala
Eduardo Stein with Lilian Marquez

7. Water Stress, Instability, and Violent Extremism in Nigeria
Marcus King

8. Water Resources, Climate Change, and the Destabilization of Modern Mesopotamia
Peter Gleick

9. Iran's Impending Water Crisis
David Michel

10. Dammed If You Do and Damned If You Don't: Afghanistan's Water Woes
Glen Hearns

11. Winter is Coming: U.S. Strategic Interests and the Water-Energy-Agriculture Conundrum in Central Asia
Richard Paisley

12. The Perils of Denial: Challenges for a Water-Secure Pakistan
Ali Sayed, Chelsea N. Spangler, and Faizan Usman

13. Water Scarcity and Regional Security in India
Cecilia Tortajada, Udisha Saklani, and Asit K. Biswas

14. Water-Energy Nexus in the Himalayas
Keith Schneider

15. A Perfect Storm in the Greater Mekong Subregion: Climate-Change Impacts on Food, Water, and Energy
Arjun Thapan

16. Building Resilience for Peace: Water, Security, and Strategic Interests in Mindanao, Philippines
Roger-Mark De Souza

Part III: Financing Water Infrastructure
Framing Note: Persistent Challenges
Patrick Coady

17. Helping Weak Water Utilities Climb the Financial Ladder
Aldo Baietti

18. Financing Water and Sewer Infrastructure in the Developing World
William Streeter

19. A New Chapter in Developing Water Infrastructure
Marc Jeuland

Part IV: New Challenges, New Directions

20. Paths of Influence
David Reed

21. Recommendations for Water, Security, and U.S. Foreign Policy
David Reed

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David Reed is Senior Policy Advisor for WWF-US.


'This impressive volume brings together many of the world's leading thinkers and practitioners on global water policy. The chapters survey the water and governance challenges in a number of important countries and regions. The contributors grapple with the complexity of how problems related to water potentially create security concerns for the United States and what, if anything, the U.S. government can do to help others and thereby help itself.' - Joshua Busby, Associate Professor of Public Affairs at the University of Texas-Austin and author of Water and U.S. National Security (Council on Foreign Relations 2017)

'Climate change has driven home what we should have known for a long time: water is the root of much of the world's instability and conflict. And there is no one better than David Reed to apply his enormous experience across a score of regions. His careful book drives home a second truth we should have known: water is the problem but mismanagment is the curse. Accordingly, he provides a framework for critical shift in policy, from providing water to managing watershed, almost always involving more than one country.' - Greg Treverton, former chair of the U.S. National Intelligence Council