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A "Green Wars" Challenge to EOSAEL

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Research paper

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On 10 October, 1989, Secretary of Defense Richard B. Cheney, in response to growing environmental concerns, spelled out environmental management policy that substantially broadened the role of the Defense Department to include saving the environment. Earlier this year, Chief of Engineers LTG Henry J. Hatch noted that U.S. security objectives have changed, resulting in a broader perception of national security. Among other threats to national security, he mentioned environmental degradation as a major factor of global significance. Georgias Senator Sam Nunn, chairman of the Senate Armed Services Committee, reasoning that warmer Soviet-American relations may leave the Department of Defense with a reduced mission, has suggested that defense money and manpower be directed into saving the environment. He has proposed that the Secretary of Defense establish a program to be known as the Strategic Environmental Research Program SERP to address these environmental matters of concern through focused research and development. The message is clear environmental destruction is a threat to national security. Because of this recognition of nonmilitary aspects of national security, also referred to as Green Wars, the role of the Army is broadening, and this will dictate a broadening of the Electro-Optical Systems Atmospheric Effects Librarys EOSAELs efforts as well. The challenges in protecting and restoring the environment are far greater than is generally recognized, and EOSAEL is in a position to emerge as a major resource to address these transnational issues. The full extent of the Armys involvement in environmental issues such as global change, pollution, and acid rain is still evolving. However, EOSAEL represents a valuable data base and a model for assisting the nation in dealing with such issues, and should be broadened to meet the challenge. In the final analysis, EOSAEL may prove to be a major potential weapon in the environmental war.

Subject Categories:

  • Atmospheric Physics
  • Electrooptical and Optoelectronic Devices
  • Optical Detection and Detectors
  • Atomic and Molecular Physics and Spectroscopy
  • Air Pollution and Control

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