Environmental Security: A DoD Partnership for Peace

  • April 01, 1994
  • Dr Kent Hughes Butts
  • Dr Kent Hughes Butts

International environmental issues can lead to instability and conflict that threaten U.S. security interests and may result in the commitment of U.S. forces. Chronic, unresolved environmental issues threaten stability in such critical regions as the former Soviet Union, Africa, Latin America, and the Middle East. Recognizing this, the Department of Defense (DOD) has committed itself to using DOD assets to mitigate environmental issues that could lead to instability. However, a strategy to implement this proactive policy has not been developed. As part of the effort to create this strategy, the Deputy Assistant Secretary of the Army (Environment, Safety and Occupation Health), Mr. Lewis D. Walker, convened a panel on Environmental Security as part of the Fifth Senior Environmental Leadership Conference. The panel was sponsored by the Strategic Studies Institute and the Army Environmental Policy Institute. Its members were environmental security experts from within and outside DOD and represented Major Commands and the Joint Community. This report was drafted by members of the panel and edited by the panel chairman. While recognizing that their report was a contribution to the ongoing effort to define DOD's environmental security role and not a comprehensive study, the panel reached consensus, and made recommendations on key policy