Peter Denton, Adjunct Associate Professor of History at the Royal Military College of Canada, has recently been exploring the idea of ‘Green Force’, an argument that calls for the military to fully engage with creating a global sustainable future.
Denton argues that the same environmental principles and regulations should be applied to military affairs, domestic and foreign, as they are to individuals and institutions in society; just as crucially, there should not be any exemption for how the military undertakes military operations.
It is vital to focus on climate change, argues Denton, because understanding the mechanisms of climate change will increasingly have security implications and should therefore be considered a fundamental consideration for militaries worldwide.
In the aftermath of the human and environmental devastation of war outside intervention involving military forces is often essential, argues Denton: ‘if those interventions are undertaken in ways to minimize possibilities for future conflicts, restore and rebuild ecosystems and infrastructure, and provide the means for local populations to support themselves, they can create a foundation for a sustainable future in that place. There is, moreover, a growing body of excellent work that demonstrates the importance and the necessity of interweaving environment and peace building, with examples drawn from a wide range of global experiences’.
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