14m people hit by floods.
"The US must prepare for more security crises triggered by erratic weather, perhaps caused by global warming," warns the newspaper while adding the world cannot help but feel compassion for Pakistan, where 1 in 12 people, or more than 14 million in all, have had their lives disrupted by teeming rain and a flood the size of Lebanon.
They these estimates alone, this humanitarian crisis eclipses last year's Haitian earthquake and the 2004 Asian tsunami combined.
Aid relief to Pakistan's flood victims has so far been slow and inadequate, despite the best efforts of the country's military and the $55 million in aid promised by the United States (which includes helicopter deliveries). Now this wave of "climate migrants," combined with their anger at Pakistan's shaky civilian government and their embrace of aid from militants, has set up a classic case of how erratic weather can create a security crisis, comments the monitor.
In a report earlier this year, the Pentagon warned that new weather patterns "may act as an accelerant of instability or conflict, placing a burden to respond on civilian institutions and militaries around the world."
For Pakistan, which is already the epicentre of the US war on terrorism, the unusual monsoon rains and massive flooding have created the potential for further weakening of the country's fragile democracy.
President Asif Zardari and PM Yousuf Raza Gillani have been seen as inept in their response, while the head of armed forces, Gen. Ashfaq Kayani, has tried to show the strength of the military in leading the country through this crisis.
In addition, militant groups in the fragile northwest, where the worst flooding has occurred, are distributing their own aid and using the crisis to turn traumatised refugees against the government and the US.
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|Publication:||The Statesman (Peshawar, Pakistan)|
|Date:||Aug 13, 2010|
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