Environment: The Military as Litterbug

Armies are machines designed by and large for human destruction, but they are also generators of huge piles of junk. Even in peacetime, military decisions to scrap costly and complicated systems constantly add more litter to the pile. As a result of 30 years of hot and cold wars, the U.S. Department of Defense has become cumulatively—and with a sense of considerable embarrassment—far and away the nation's biggest litterbug.

Oil-Drum Culture. The hardest hit of all the states has been one of the most remote. Alaska's Aleutian Island chain is littered with an enormous potpourri of debris. More than 2,000 World War...

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