It is with sadness, yet without reservation on the part of this retired soldier, that the findings of the twelve associated chapters in this volume portray a distressing military fact. Again, the traditional peacekeeping nations are flagging in their resolve to support democracy and peace among nations. The new millennium opens to a generational gap in which the young cannot sense that real dictators are far worse than cinema villains. Today’s youth breathes the fresh air purchased by the toil of their oppressed predecessors. Citizens suffer a declining interest in maintenance of armed forces worldwide, yet we must be conscious of the force-multiplication factors that weigh heavily on providing the means for fewer soldiers, sailors, and airmen to keep the peace most effectively through constant and fervent attention to military geology. Professional soldiers and civilian members of the military forces must train more diligently to keep the peace, and must do so with constant regard for preservation of the training environment. First-world military forces now bear serious financial constraints and stringent requirements from their civilian leaders to care for the natural environment during training. I thank the authors for presenting their evidence of the new and expanded roles in conservation, maintenance of training, and preservation of peace at favorable cost-benefit ratios for and by those nations that are dedicated to peace through judicious military strength.
Figures & Tables
The Environmental Legacy of Military Operations
Military geology comprises research and practical efforts directed toward providing geological input for military construction, civil works projects (e.g., dams, navigable waterway maintenance), remediation of polluted military facilities, terrain analysis, sustainability of training lands, mobility prediction, and site characterization activities. Land use sustainability issues, base closures, and heightened levels of environmental awareness by the general public have introduced new challenges for using, maintaining, cleaning, and restoring lands that have served as military installations for decades. In this volume, the legacy of military operations and their impact on the terrain and geology, particularly from an environmental viewpoint, are considered by geologists of diverse lands and backgrounds. This book, a companion volume to Military Geology in War and Peace (Reviews in Engineering Geology, v. 13, 1998), emphasizes current research and applications of engineering geology principles and practice to modern day military problems, many of which are environmental in nature.