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War and Nature

The Environmental Consequences of War in a Globalized World

Jurgen Brauer

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. « less more »
AltaMira Press
Pages: 252Size: 6 x 9 1/8
978-0-7591-1206-3 • Hardback • October 2009 • $92.00 • (£65.00)
978-0-7591-1207-0 • Paperback • August 2011 • $33.00 • (£22.95)
978-0-7591-1929-1 • eBook • October 2009 • $32.99 • (£22.95)
Jurgen Brauer is professor of economics at the James M. Hull College of Business, Augusta State University.
Chapter 1. Globalization, Nature, and War
Chapter 2. The Vietnam War
Chapter 3. The Persian Gulf War
Chapter 4. Civil War and Borderland Effects
Chapter 5. War and Nature in a Globalized World
War and Nature makes a major contribution to the literature. The scholarship is exemplary and the author's command of the relevant literature is remarkable. This book should be required reading within governmental ministries of foreign affairs, environment, and defense. Officials and practitioners in intergovernmental agencies and international NGOs would also benefit from taking this book's information and message to heart.
Arthur H. Westing, former director, Project on Peace, Security and Environment, United Nations Environment Programme

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.
Jeffrey A. McNeely, Chief Scientist, International Union for Conservation of Nature

War and Nature would be a masterful summary, except that there have not been many studies of the effects of war on the environment, and even fewer prewar baseline studies of affected areas. So there is not much to summarize, but the book does provide thorough coverage of the existing data. . . . The book contains abundant notes and other academic apparatus. . . . Highly recommended.
CHOICE, March 2010

It is remarkable that military impacts on nature have received little scientific attention. Jurgen Brauer deserves much praise for a systematic reckoning of resource use by military activities and of war’s environmental repercussions. Existing reliable information being scarce, he points the way toward establishing a research agenda and methodology.
Geographical Review