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Army can boost mission success by better managing
Date:9/25/2008

ects soldiers and operations, especially because many contingency operations are often conducted in locations that have significant legacy pollution and other environmental problems.

The study finds that base camps raise a host of environmental issues. In most contingencies over the last 20 years, U.S. forces have remained in theater much longer than expected. As a result, base camps that were hastily constructed for temporary use are occupied for many years and often have inadequate environmental systems and procedures, such as insufficient waste management.

Pollution from base camps can affect relations with locals, cause health problems for soldiers, and require costly cleanup efforts. The authors state that Army leaders should anticipate longer stays and design and build base camps accordingly.

Operations that require less fuel, water and other resources, and produce less waste, will reduce the logistics burden. A well-designed, efficient base camp can reduce the resources required to sustain it and free logistics assets to support U.S. troops or reduce the number of convoys that must travel along dangerous roads, the report finds.

Environmental conditions can also extend beyond national borders because air and water pollution may travel great distances, affecting diplomatic relations with countries that could be crucial to the mission's success.

The authors make several recommendations:

  • Improve policy and guidance for environmental considerations in contingency operations. Work with the Department of Defense to develop guidance that would clarify the need to anticipate and address environmental issues in contingency operations.
  • Encourage an environmental ethic throughout the Army that extends to contingency operations.
  • Better incorporate environmental considerations into planning, particularly those that relate to achieving U.S. strategic objectives and to base camps.
  • Improve pre-
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Contact: Joseph Dougherty
media@rand.org
703-413-1100 x5137
RAND Corporation
Source:Eurekalert

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