Environmental Ethics

Volume 11, Issue 2, Summer 1989

Merrit P. Drucker
Pages 135-152

The Military Commander’s Responsibility for the Environment

I argue that military commanders have professional responsibilities for the environment in both peace and war. Peacetime responsibilities arise out of the commander’s general responsibilities as an agent of the state. Wartime responsibilities are part of the commander’s responsibility to protect noncombatants and to protect an environment that is the inherently valuable heritage of mankind. Commanders must assurne some risk to protect the environment. I conclude that we must stop not only the environmental damage caused by war, but also war itself if we are to remain a viable species.