The announcement of a new ‘Green Ammunition’ for the military brings up an interesting question. Can war be eco-friendly? I find it interesting (twisted, actually) that something that is designed to kill can be called green.
Now, before you castigate me for being a peacenik hippie who’s missing the point (yes, I am a peacenik), let’s look at the issue.
Some definitions of ammunition:
- A projectile for firing from a rifle, revolver, or other small firearms, typically of metal, cylindrical and pointed, and sometimes containing an explosive.
- Projectiles, such as bullets and shot, together with their fuses and primers, that can be fired from guns or otherwise propelled.
- Nuclear, biological, chemical, or explosive material, such as rockets or grenades, that are used as weapons.
[social_buttons] That about covers it, doesn’t it? What other purpose could ammunition serve, other than to maim, kill, or otherwise mangle a person until they are no longer functioning?
So how does that fit into the green theme? Population reduction?
The thought that the military is trying to be more eco-friendly when killing people (I understand that we consider the people killed to be ‘enemies’, but they’re still people, yes?) goes contrary to my personal belief that wars don’t solve anything. They never have.
What wars do create is a huge demand for supplies and weaponry, including ammunition. And who profits? The arms manufacturers and dealers do.
War also creates environmental hazards to those who live near the conflicts (but aren’t killed by the ammunition), to those who live near training grounds, and to the soldiers themselves.
According to the press release about the green ammunition:
“Mk281 does not contain toxic chemicals or energetic materials, which aligns it with the Department of Defense (DoD) and Environmental Protection Agency’s joint mission to solve Unexploded Ordnance (UXO) issues. The Army’s current 40 mm training cartridge, M918, is a 1970’s pyrotechnic design that contains heavy metals in the fuze and potassium perchlorate in the flash/bang payload.
It takes 6-10 million training rounds each year to keep war-fighting skills sharp, and with a fuze failure rate of 3%-8%, M918 creates an annual taxpayer bill of >$500M in UXO clean-up costs.
By presidential executive order, the DoD is required to buy “green ammunition” for use on all training ranges. According to the Defense Science Board’s 2003, written for the DoD, 40 mm “green ammunition” is critical to conquering UXO issues.”
Well, there ya go.
Ammunition without toxic chemicals. Killing and training to kill with eco-friendly weapons.
Repeat after me: “Just call it green and it’s all good…”
Image: gopal1035 at Flickr under Creative Commons