The fight to save the planet: U.S. Armed Forces, Greenkeeping, and enforcement of the law pertaining to environmental protection during armed conflict.
Parsons, Rymn James.
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The need to protect the environment against unjustified damage during armed conflict glares ominously as weapons of war grow ever more virulent, greatly increasing the risk of harm to the environment from mere incidental damage, to say nothing of the intentional destruction of the environment. Conventional weapons of frightening destructive capacity proliferate unendingly while weapons of mass destruction, despite significant legal restrictions, remain plentiful, some in new and untested hands. Ironically, the environment itself may be the most potent weapon of all, a weapon that can be manipulated as easily by simple means as by technologically sophisticated ones. To help stem the tide of environmental catastrophe in war, international law must be strengthened and better enforced. The question of how best to protect the environment during armed conflict received intense scrutiny following the 1990- 91 Persian Gulf War. Among the most intractable problems, effective enforcement, long considered a weak aspect of international law, stands out. Two primary schools of thought have developed on how to proceed. One school holds that existing law is adequate and needs only better implementation. The other school holds that a new convention is needed. This report discusses current law and possible revisions that can be made to assure protection of the environment during armed conflict
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