Environmental Effects of War

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ENVIRONMENTAL ISSUES IN CONDUCT OF WAR

INTRODUCTION

‘‘War is never an isolated act.”
War is a phenomenon of organized violent conflict, typified by extreme aggression, societal disruption and adaptation, and high mortality. Usually a war is a pre-planned activity to begin with by one group or one nation and the group initiates the war by means of violence against the other. The primary feature of this behaviour pattern is a certain state of organized conflict that is engaged in between two or more separate social entities. Such a conflict is always an attempt at altering either the psychological hierarchy or the material hierarchy of domination or equality between two or more groups. In all cases, at least one participant (group) in the conflict perceives the need to either psychologically or materially dominate the other participant. A war state of open, armed, often prolonged conflict carried on between nations, states, or parties. Generally a need for war or domination by one state over other arises when one party feels that the ideology followed by one party is very incompatible and is bothering that nation to extent of causing war. Sometimes the resources of a nation is so scarce, so as to threaten the fundamental existence of one group experiencing the need to dominate the other group. Political Considerations could also be the reason of a war. Leaders will sometimes enter into a war under the pretext that their actions are primarily defensive, though when viewed objectively, their actions may more closely resemble a form of unprovoked, unwarranted, or disproportionate aggression. Apart from these a war could also be fought for territorial gain which means expansion of the territory of one nation, religion asserting that one religion is superior than the other, nationalism by asserting that one country is better than the other and therefore it has a right to dominate the other. Resources are always the biggest and one the foremost reasons for any war. Usually wars are fought either directly to obtain absolute control over the resources of that country or indirectly by sugarcoating the reasons of waging a war but ultimately aiming at gaining absolute control over the resources. Resources are so important as it increases the strength of a nation at the international level and helps in making itself self sufficient. Thus these are usually the reasons for which a war takes place. However this list is not exhaustive. War could take place for any reasons. Moreover there is no set ground on the basis of which a war can be fought because of which the incident of war increases day by day. Also the absence of any compulsory regulatory authority at the international level to check the instances of war or the absence of any international statute that is binding on any nation fails to curb the emergence of a war. Moreover due to absence of any international statute or a regulatory authority the countries waging a war are although responsible but not punishable for the destruction caused due their heinous acts. This paper traces the impact of such heinous acts on the environment. It is estimated that 378 000 people died due to war each year between 1985 and 1994. Today, for Iraq alone, there have been over a million deaths as a direct consequence of the American occupation of Iraq. The soldiers would have dedicated their lives to fighting battles, with little possibility of regaining the ability to live successfully as a civilian. One-tenth of mobilized American men were hospitalized for mental disturbances between 1942 and 1945, and after thirty-five days of uninterrupted combat, 98% of them manifested psychiatric disturbances in varying degrees. Further many wars have been accompanied by major amount of depopulation of civilians. According to Wikipedia, during the thirty years war in Europe, for example, the population of the German states was reduced by about 30%. The Swedish armies alone may have destroyed up to...
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