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This new book from the Worldwatch Institute sketches the shape of a new balance in security investmentsone that de-emphasizes military means and territorial security and accentuates the environmental aspects of security.
Accelerating social, economic, and environmental pressures are now undermining the security of societies around the world, according to security expert Michael Renner. Since the end of the Cold War, a volatile mix of environmental degradation, inequitable distribution of land and wealth, ethnic antagonisms, and rapid population growth is producing social and political strife, and even causing the wholesale disintegration of countries.
The author argues that true security has less to do with how many tanks or soldiers a country can marshal and more with how well it protects its arable lands and watersheds and how well it manages to meet peoples social and economic needs. Military means are often irrelevant or even counterproductive in this new security equation; they are a depreciating asset. At a time when the United Nations has been devoting a sharply higher share of its resources to peacekeeping, while reducing spending on basic environmental and economic development, this new book provides a wake-up call for policy makers around the world.
About the Author
Michael Renner, a senior researcher at Worldwatch, lives in New York City.