Quitting the Islands
This chapter considers waste disposal in the Pacific islands. Except for some local resources such as timber and food, every item needed for warfare had to be brought into the islands. In perilous times few questioned the necessity of this long ecological shadow. To homeland populations and their economies making their sacrifices, however, intimations of waste of resources at the front could be demoralizing. While American industry turned from a peace to a war economy, military planners saw resource conservation as significant for civilian morale and waging war. As the front moved on, but particularly when peace came, the disposal of war's vast matériel posed as many difficulties as had its assemblage. Environmental factors remained pivotal agents and pressed heavily on colonial administrations as much as the military in their endeavors to dispose of war's vast apparatus.
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