Most Americans trust the military; a 2020 poll found 72 percent with “a great deal” or “quite a lot” of confidence in that institution, edged out only by small business. Many were likely picturing enlisted persons, but their trust often extends to the leadership, both uniformed and civilian. However, those making life-and-death decisions for both U.S. troops and people of other countries — even in the absence of war — deserve our serious scrutiny.
A new book, Poisoning the Pacific, examines the military’s long role in the environmental degradation of East Asia and Pacific islands, severely impacting the health of the region’s people and U.S. personnel stationed there. Author Jon Mitchell is a Tokyo-based journalist, and much of his book focuses on Japan, especially its southernmost prefecture of Okinawa.Continue reading