2003 CPEO Military List Archive

From: CPEO Moderator <cpeo@cpeo.org>
Date: 6 Feb 2003 17:20:44 -0000
Reply: cpeo-military
Subject: [CPEO-MEF] Defense Department Forum Focuses on Environment
Defense Department Forum Focuses on Environment

WASHINGTON, Feb. 5  Even as the possibility of war with Iraq looms,
Defense Department officials took time out today to talk about spotted
owls, red-cockaded woodpeckers and slick spot peppergrass.

The attention to such exotic flora and fauna is part of the Pentagon's
new strategy to gain permission from Congress for exemptions from
environmental rules it says have bedeviled its training and readiness
mission over the years.

The Pentagon sought an exemption last year but failed. Now it is back
with a broader effort to garner support.

That was evident today at an environmental forum at the National Defense
University here at Fort McNair, where defense officials said the
Pentagon could adhere to its military mission while sharing the goals of

Paul D. Wolfowitz, deputy defense secretary, addressed the gathering,
which included military officials and representatives of environmental
groups and, in a departure for the military, was open to the news media.

"The challenge is nothing less than supporting the twin imperatives of
producing the best-trained military force in the world and providing the
best environmental stewardship," Mr. Wolfowitz said. "National security
and environmental security are mutually reinforcing."

At the same time, defense officials suggested that the urgency of their
military mission required an ability to override environmental rules.

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