War and Nature: The Environmental Consequences of War in a Globalized World

War and Nature: The Environmental Consequences of War in a Globalized World

by Jurgen Brauer


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The inherent dangers of war zones constrain even the most ardent researchers, with the consequence that little has been known for certain about the effects of war on stable environments. War and Nature sifts through the available data from past wars to evaluate the actual impact that combat has on natural surroundings. Examining conflicts of various kinds—the long war in tropical Vietnam, the relatively brief and highly technical wars in the Persian Gulf, and various civil wars in Africa and South-Central Asia fought with small arms—Brauer asks whether differences in technology, location, and duration are critical in causing environmental and humanitarian harm. A number of unexpected conclusions are drawn from this data, including practical agendas for collecting scientific evidence in future wars and suggestions about what the world's environmental and conservation organizations can do. One thing War and Nature does is to show us how globalization can be a force harnessed for good ends.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780759112070
Publisher: AltaMira Press
Publication date: 08/19/2011
Series: Globalization and the Environment Series
Edition description: Reprint
Pages: 252
Product dimensions: 6.00(w) x 9.00(h) x 0.90(d)

About the Author

Jurgen Brauer is professor of economics at the James M. Hull College of Business, Augusta State University.

Table of Contents

Figures and Tables ix

Acknowledgments xi

Preface xiii

Chapter 1 Globalization, Nature, and War 1

1.1 Natural Resource Consumption by Armed Forces 1

1.2 Nuclear War and Nuclear Weapons Testing 4

1.2.1 Nuclear War 4

1.2.2 Nuclear Weapons Testing 7

1.3 Need and Greed As Causes of War 11

1.4 Measuring the Environmental Consequences of War 19

1.4.1 Classifying War-Related Environmental Damage 20

1.4.2 The Data: Finding Out What Really Happened 26

1.5 The Environment in International Law of War 32

Appendix: Why Nuclear Weapons? 33

Chapter 2 The Vietnam War 45

2.1 Bombing, Bulldozing, and Other Nonherbicidal Destruction 46

2.1.1 Bombing 46

2.1.2 Bulldozing 48

2.1.3 Other Nonherbicidal Destruction 49

2.2 Herbicide Attacks 49

2.2.1 Background 49

2.2.2 Inland Forests: Terrestrial Plant Ecology and Forestry 52

2.2.3 Forest Fauna: Animal Ecology 58

2.2.4 Herbicide Persistence, Mobility, and Soil Ecology 62

2.2.5 Coastal, Marine, and Aquatic Ecology 64

2.2.6 Long-Term Effects 69

2.3 In Sum 72

Chapter 3 ThePersian Gulf War 81

3.1 The Persian Gulf 82

3.1.1 Scientific Missions and Data Gathering 82

3.1.2 Geography and Oceanography of the Western Persian Gulf 85

3.2 Marine Environments 86

3.2.1 Supratidal and Intertidal Areas 86

3.2.2 Benthic Communities, Fish, Shrimp, Coral Reefs, and Islands 93

3.2.3 Marine Mammals and Turtles 100

3.3 birds 102

3.3.1 Shorebirds 103

3.3.2 Seabirds 105

3.4 In Sum 108

3.5 Bibliographic Note 110

Chapter 4 Civil War and Borderland Effects 119

4.1 Rwanda and the Eastern Congo 121

4.1.1 Rwanda 123

4.1.2 The Eastern Congo 130

4.2 Afghanistan and Pakistan 139

4.2.1 Afghanistan 139

4.2.2 The Effects of the Afghan Wars on Pakistan 146

4.3 In Sum 148

4.4 Bibliographic Note 149

Chapte5 War and Nature in a Globalized World 155

5.1 Findings 156

5.1.1 Big Wars, Small Effects? Small Wars, Big Effects? 156

5.1.2 Firepower and Mobility 158

5.1.3 Refugees and Returnees 161

5.1.4 Conservation by Default 163

5.1.5 Benefits of War, Costs of Peace 166

5.2 A Way Forward 168

5.2.1 Perspectives and Standards Matter 168

5.2.2 Continuous Biomonitoring and Rapid Assessment Matter 171

5.2.3 Preparation and Communication Matter 174

5.2.4 Incentives in a Globalized World Matter 177

5.3 In Sum: Preventing War, Preserving Nature 182

List of References 187

Index 217

About the Author 233

What People are Saying About This

Jeffrey A. McNeely

Globalization has brought benefits to many, but these benefits have not come without costs. One of the hidden costs has been the increasingly negative impact of violent conflict on the environment. War and Nature provides a fresh perspective on this problem, drawing on concrete examples from Vietnam, the Persian Gulf, Central Africa, and Afghanistan. This evidence-based approach effectively provides guidance on how best to avoid environmental degradation in time of war, providing useful tools for politicians, peace-makers, and even the military. This book deserves wide circulation and broad discussion by both practitioners and academics.

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