Greening the War Machine

Collide-a-ScapeBy Keith KloorAug 1, 2009 1:44 AM


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I'm confused by this post on Iraq's environmental crisis over at The Duck of Minerva. First, to attribute Iraq's devastated environment to war, as Roger A. Payne seemingly does, is an oversimplification. Even the LA Times article that he plays off of recognizes that. Then, after tallying up the devastation, Payne concludes:

In IR [International Relations], much of the research on ecology and security has focused on the possibility that "environmental scarcities" contribute to the outbreak of violent conflict. It would appear as if additional research should focus on the environmental harm of war itself -- and the difficulty of making critical green choices in a war context.

Um, when it comes to wreaking havoc and carnage on your enemy, what exactly are the "green choices" that might leave a country's landscape slightly less in tatters?

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