Future International Environmental Security Issues and Potential Military Requirements over the period of 2010 to 2025 - for the U.S. Army Environmental Policy Institute -
Environmental Security defined as environmental viability for life support with three sub-elements: • preventing or repairing military damage to the environment; • preventing or responding to environmentally caused conflicts; and • protecting the environment due to the moral value of the environment itself
Purpose of the study • identify and discuss environmental issues that may affect the U.S. Army's Transformation efforts in the mid-term (2005-2010) and the long-term (2020-2025) time frames • anticipate potential military requirements that could emerge in response to these issues.
Study Process - Meeting with Military Attachés to Washington, D.C. to introduce the study - A three-round Delphi: • Questionnaire - round 1: likelihood and importance of emerging environmental issues and when they might affect military policy or procedures due to security concerns, or statutory, regulatory, or treaty requirements • Three-day workshop with futurists, environmentalists, and scientists (day 1); military attachés (day 2); U.S. military personnel (day 3) • Questionnaire - round 3: Eight environmental security developments and potential military requirements to address them
Environmental security developments - distillation used in Rd3 questionnaire - 1. Biotechnology is used to build new kinds of weapons. 2. A major military conflict over water is understood by world leaders as extremely plausible. 3. A new and/or reemerging disease threat or outbreak triggers conflict. 4. Increasing emphasis on the sustainable use of natural resources causes a complete revision of military operations including construction, base operations, and training management policies. 5. The aftereffects of biological, chemical, or nanotech weapons or a nuclear incident require a massive cleanup or other large-scale military response. 6. A post-conflict battlefield remediation treaty is implemented. 7. Military forces are given a new role in environmental conflict prevention and/or resolution. 8. Future conflicts will be driven by rogue states and terrorists, changing the nature of environmental challenges facing military forces. A rogue nation develops doctrine to target environmental quality as an objective of warfare.
Four themeswere apparent in the list of requirements: • Need for collaboration with other agencies; • Need for training; • Need to develop new technology; • Possible emergence of new environmental-related missions.
Highlights • the only development that was rated very high for both importance and likelihood was: A major military conflict breaks out over water resources/quality. • The developments with the highestdisagreement regarding the year it might occur were: • New sources and management of energy alter global political power relations. • A global push for environmental friendly non-lethal weapons emerges. • Artificial genetic pollution is recognized as a global environmental safety or occupational health threat
Highlights (cont.) • disagreement about the degree of military responsibility vs. civilian responsibility for environmental security • strong sentiment that the role of the military is distinct from environmental issues • agreement that a military doctrine for the prevention of military attacks on the environment needs to be developed by the UN • national sovereignty issues must be faced and resolved • under what conditions could environmental damage be so severe to be of concern to all of humanity and intervention authorized by the UN Security Council? • high correlation between the implementation dates and the perceived effectiveness of the requirements
Highlights (cont.) • divergent opinions of civilian vs. military over control of water systems to prevent a crisis or protect them during a crisis • creating effective “off-switches” for bio-weapons and nano-weapons will be an on-going intellectual arms race • protection against bio-weapons: preventing the motivation of their use through general education to enlighten the public, and the mitigation of hostilities among nations, societies, and social groups
Meta recommendations • Perform a gap analysis • Expand simulation in training • Prevent environmentally related conflicts • Non-environmental impacting weapons • Improve the R&D cooperation • Increase consideration given to international existing and upcoming treaties