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DEFENSE CUTS MAY ARM ENVIRONMENTAL PROGRAMS

The chairman of the Senate Armed Services Committee and four fellow Democrats are calling for the United States to use resources and technology from military cutbacks to improve the environment.

Majority members of the Senate Armed Services Committee, led by panel chairman Sen. Sam Nunn of Georgia, proposed on Thursday creating a Strategic Environmental Research Program to use the skills of the Defense and Energy departments and some elements of the intelligence community.The resources once used in a military role would be directed to environmental programs under the proposal to be included in the 1991 defense spending bill.

"I believe one of our key national security objectives must be to reverse the accelerating pace of environmental destruction around the globe," Nunn said.

Sen. Albert Gore Jr., D-Tenn., said the nation realizes its security can be threatened by non-military forces.