Reforming the Corps

May 30, 2003 • Volume 13, Issue 21
Do Corps of Engineers projects need outside review?
By David Hosansky


Towboats push barges along the Black Warrior and Tombigbee rivers in Alabama.  (Corps of Engineers/Adrien Lamarre)
Towboats push barges along the Black Warrior and Tombigbee rivers in Alabama. (Corps of Engineers/Adrien Lamarre)

The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers has played an unprecedented role in reshaping the nation's landscape — dredging channels for shipping, building hydroelectric dams to provide rural electricity and erecting levees to guard against lowland flooding. But now an unlikely coalition of environmentalists and fiscal conservatives says the agency uses faulty economic assumptions to press for costly, pork-barrel projects that damage the environment while providing little benefit to society. Environmentalists also say Corps projects in support of developers or large-scale farmers have been especially harmful to the nation's wetlands. The Bush administration is taking aim at the agency budget, but many in Congress insist on continuing to fund big projects back home. Meanwhile, a bipartisan group of lawmakers insists on overhauling Corps procedures before approving any new projects.

ISSUE TRACKER for Related Reports
U.S. Military
Oct. 04, 2019  Veterans' Struggles
Sep. 23, 2011  Military Suicides
Sep. 05, 2008  Rise in Counterinsurgency
Aug. 31, 2007  Wounded Veterans
Nov. 19, 2004  Treatment of Veterans
Jun. 25, 2004  Privatizing the Military
May 30, 2003  Reforming the Corps
Apr. 26, 1996  New Military Culture
Jun. 08, 1990  Downsizing America's Armed Forces
Jul. 20, 1966  American Forces in Europe
Jan. 15, 1964  American Troops Abroad
May 21, 1958  Military Reorganization
Feb. 28, 1952  Benefits for Korean Veterans
May 12, 1948  Militarization
Nov. 06, 1946  Veterans' Bonus
Jul. 17, 1946  War Veterans in Civil Life
Nov. 27, 1941  Government Aid to Ex-Service Men
Sep. 27, 1932  The Bonus After the 1932 Elections
Oct. 06, 1930  Veteran-Aid Policies of the United States
Jan. 07, 1924  Congress and the Bonus
Land Resources and Property Rights
Regional Planning and Urbanization
Wetlands, Everglades, and Coastal Areas