The end of the Cold War era has opened a Pandora's Box of environmental concerns that, heretofore, took a back seat to superpower struggles. Today, conflict is no longer played out within a Cold War conceptual framework. Imperfect, and at times, inconsistent as the Cold War framework was, it nevertheless provided decision makers with a recipe for action--or inaction. Since conflict is no longer structured within this framework, the two former superpowers --the United States and Russia--no longer possess clear yardsticks for action. With superpower interference in "proxy" conflict(s) no longer the definitive factor in the international arena, I postulate that global conflict will increasingly take on an environmental character. Ironically, much of this future conflict is likely to be exacerbated by the subtle incorporation of an environmental pillar into national security policy, particularly that of the United States. This paper will examine (1) the progression of "environmental security" as a valid policy concern for nation-states, (2) why policy expansion is occurring, and; (3) the possible consequences of linking environmental problems to an expanded security paradigm.
Brundtland Report (1987), environment and conflict, expanded security paradigm, global environmental conflict, mutual vulnerability, post-Cold War era, security
"Global Environment Conflict in the Postcold War Era: Linkage to an Extended Paradigm,"
Peace and Conflict Studies: Vol. 5:
1, Article 5.
Available at: https://nsuworks.nova.edu/pcs/vol5/iss1/5