The US Department of Defense and military supporters commonly present military-to-wildlife transitions as examples of the military's commitment to environmental protection and sustainability. While a number of military installations do commit to impressive programs to reduce waste or utilize renewable energy, the broader mission of the military remains focused on the ability to apply lethal force globally. This creates a paradox where military bases include ambitious sustainability programs while the larger institution continues to inflict unsustainable damage on people and places at multiple scales. Similarly, military lands include some of the best protected ecosystems but also some of the world's worst cases of contamination. This chapter focuses on these tensions and contradictions of militarized landscapes through the lens of ecological militarization. This concept highlights how military-to-wildlife conversions are not the simple win-win actions that supporters promote, but are also rife with asymmetries, inequalities, and risks.
Keywords: sustainability, ecological militarization, military environmentalism, ecological modernization, military contamination, Pinon Canyon, BRAC