Is The War On Terrorism Also A War On The Environment

Is The War On Terrorism Also A War On The Environment

As the U.S. prepares to respond to the ghastly terrorist attacks of September 11, the hard task will be to choose among effective options while minimizing the costs. Environmental concerns might seem trivial and even unpatriotic at a time like this, but the environmental effects of military action pose long-term dangers that we would be foolish to ignore. Thinking in environmental terms at this moment should not be surprising. We must be alert to the likelihood that aggression toward the United States may increasingly take the form of environmental terrorism, including biological and chemical warfare. Even conventional attacks create environmental risk. Witness the concern over asbestos exposure for rescue workers at the World Trade Center. Terrorists may not care about such things, but we should. Our military response should be tailored to minimize and mitigate collateral environmental damage wherever possible. Environmental losses are casualties too. They ought to be included in our strategic thinking about where and what to strike. This is in our national interest. Patriotism and environmentalism go hand in hand.

As the President has made clear, our response will come at a price. One of the costs, which will affect all of us down the road, will be

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