Looking for items to collect, a man rummages through the giant garbage dump left by the U.S. military near Bagram Air Base, north of Kabul Adek Berry/AFP

Richmond Professor Explores Impact of ‘Boots on the Ground’


Dr Bruce Stanley, Emeritus Professor of International Relations at Richmond, has had an article published by Orient XXI, a media outlet which is dedicated to ‘the East’ from Morocco to Afghanistan.

Entitled, “Boots on the Ground” leave footprints: the Anthropogenic Legacy of the US Military in the Middle East, Dr Stanley’s article explores the consequences of American military interventions around the world.

He cites how the impact of US military actions leave, ‘Destruction, civilian victims, overthrown or supported regimes… They also leave terrible environmental, ecological and sanitary traces for the populations, even when the American troops have withdrawn.”

Dr Stanley adds, ‘The US military has been “fly-tipping” conflict pollution across the Middle East for 80 years, abandoning its waste and failing to take responsibility for contributing to the production of thousands of environmental toxic sites or “local anthropocenes”…It is time to take responsibility, and time to contribute to redressing these environmental crimes. US boots across the region have left terrible footprints; pictures and memories may fade, but not forever chemicals.’

Bruce Stanley is a regular contributor to Richmond’s Research Centre for The State, Power and Globalization (SPG), specializing in conflict and post-conflict politics in the Middle East.