Reconciling Environmental Degradation and U.S. National Security   [open pdf - 5MB]

"Although environmental concerns are nothing new, it has been only recently that environmental issues have been considered as having national security implications. Along with increased environmental awareness, the end of the cold war has allowed security planners to now include nonmilitary concerns, including the environment, into what has traditionally been a military-oriented policy. Though beginning to take place, this transition or 'broadening' of national security policy to include these issues is proving slow and controversial. The nature of environmental issues is such that their inclusion into a national security framework is not an easy one. Because of the current and potential national security threats embodied in environmental degradation, however, a coherent environmental security policy needs to be formulated. Because of the scope, complexity, and unknown nature of environmental issues this has not yet been accomplished. By defining issues, setting criteria and looking at individual cases of environmental degradation in the Western Hemisphere and case studies from Brazil and Mexico, this thesis attempts to reconcile environmental degradation as a US national security issue; to provide greater depth of understanding of environmental security issues and how we may begin solving them."

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