By the Cold War's end, U.S. military bases harbored nearly 20,000 toxic waste sites. All told, cleaning the approximately 27 million acres is projected to cost hundreds of billions of dollars. And yet while progress has been made, efforts to integrate environmental and national security concerns into the military's operations have proven a daunting and intrigue-filled task that has fallen short of professed goals in the post-Cold War era.
In The Greening of the U.S. Military, Robert F. Durant delves into this too-little understood world of defense environmental policy to uncover the epic and ongoing struggle to build an environmentally sensitive culture within the post-Cold War military. Through over 100 interviews and thousands of pages of documents, reports, and trade newsletter accounts, he offers a telling tale of political, bureaucratic, and intergovernmental combat over the pace, scope, and methods of applying environmental and natural resource laws while ensuring military readiness. He then discerns from these clashes over principle, competing values, and narrow self-interest a theoretical framework for studying and understanding organizational change in public organizations.
From Dick Cheney's days as Defense Secretary under President George H. W. Bush to William Cohen's Clinton-era-tenure and on to Donald Rumsfeld's Pentagon, the battle over greening the military has been one with high-stakes consequences for both national defense and public health, safety, and the environment. Durant's polity-centered perspective and arguments will evoke needed scrutiny, debate, and dialogue over these issues in environmental, military, policymaking, and academic circles.