Ed Martini - Department of History, WMU

Proving Grounds brings together a wide range of scholars, across disciplines and geographical borders, to deepen our understanding of the environmental impact that U.S. military presence has had at home and abroad. The result is a complex and nuanced view that embraces the ironies, contradictions, and unintended consequences of U.S. militarism around the world. The essays in this collection survey the environmental damage caused by weapons testing and military bases on local residents, animal populations, and landscapes, but they also examine the military’s efforts to close and repurpose bases—often into wildlife reserves. In complicating our understanding of the U.S. military’s presence around the world, the essayists also reveal the rare cases when the military is actually ahead of the curve on environmental regulation compared to the private sector. The result is the most comprehensive examination to date of the U.S. military’s environmental footprint—for better or worse—across the globe.

Contributors: Brandon C. Davis, Neil Oatsvall, Leisl Carr Childers, Edwin A. Martini, Daniel Weimer, Jennifer Liss Ohayon, Heejin Han, Yooil Bae, Katherine Keirns, David Havlick.


"This collection is a major addition to the literature on the environmental consequences of U.S. military operations during and since the Cold War."

Richard Tucker, author and editor of Natural Enemy, Natural Ally: Toward an Environmental History of War