The Second Indochina War of 1961–1975: Its Environmental Impact

Chapter
Part of the SpringerBriefs on Pioneers in Science and Practice book series (BRIEFSPIONEER, volume 1)

Abstract

Limited warfare can result in severe, widespread, and long-term environmental damage. This has been demonstrated by a study of the effects of high-explosive munitions (bombs and shells), chemical anti-plant agents (herbicides), and heavy landclearing tractors (‘Rome plows’) as employed by the USA in South Viet Nam during the Second Indochina War of 1961–1975 for the purpose of extended large-scale area denial. Although the ecological damage to South Viet Nam was severe, the area-denial techniques used were of doubtful military success. Therefore, should a similar strategy be pursued in some future war, then the ecological damage can be expected to be far worse owing to the military necessity for a greatly expanded application of such techniques.

Keywords

Rubber Plantation Ecological Damage Cacodylic Acid Military Tactic Area Denial 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.

References

  1. Draper, S.E. 1971. Land clearing in the Delta, Vietnam. Military Engineer (Washington) 63:257–259.Google Scholar
  2. EARI & TVA [Engineer Agency for Resources Inventories & Tennessee Valley Authority]. 1968. Atlas of Physical, Economic and Social Resources of the Lower Mekong Basin. New York: United Nations, 257 pp.Google Scholar
  3. Falk, R.A. 1973. Environmental warfare and ecocide. Bulletin of Peace Proposals [now Security Dialogue] (Oslo) 4:1–17.Google Scholar
  4. Gravel, M., et al. (eds). 1971–1972. Pentagon Papers: the Defense Department History of United States Decisionmaking on Vietnam. Boston: Beacon Press, Boston, 632 + 834 + 746 + 687 + 413 pp (5 vols).Google Scholar
  5. Huntington, S.P. 1967–1968. The bases of accommodation. Foreign Affairs (New York) 46(4):642–656.Google Scholar
  6. Hymoff, E. 1971. Technology vs guerillas: stalemate in Indo-China. Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists (Chicago) 27(9):27-30.Google Scholar
  7. Kipp, R.M. 1967–1968. Counterinsurgency from 30,000 feet: the B-52 in Vietnam. Air University Review (Maxwell Air Force Base, AL, USA) 19(2):10–18.Google Scholar
  8. Lang, A., et al. 1974. Effects of Herbicides in South Vietnam. A. Summary and Conclusions. Washington: US National Academy of Sciences, [398] pp + 8 maps.Google Scholar
  9. Littauer, R., & Uphoff, N. (eds). 1972. Air War in Indochina. rev. edn. Boston: Beacon Press, Boston, 289 pp.Google Scholar
  10. McConnell, A.F., Jr. 1969–1970. Mission: Ranch Hand. Air University Review (Maxwell Air Force Base, AL, USA) 21(2):89–94.Google Scholar
  11. Ploger, R.R. 1974. Vietnam Studies: U.S. Army Engineers, 19651970. Washington: US Department of the Army, 240 pp.Google Scholar
  12. Smith, H.H. et al. 1967. Area Handbook for South Vietnam. Washington: US Department of the Army, Pamphlet No. 550–55, 510 pp.Google Scholar
  13. USSR. 1974. Prohibition of Action to Influence the Environment and Climate for Military and Other Purposes Incompatible with the Maintenance of International Security, Human Well-being and Health. New York: United Nations General Assembly, Document No. A/C.1/L.675, 2 + 5 pp.Google Scholar
  14. Westing, A.H. 1971. Leveling the jungle. Environment (Washington) 13(9):8–12.Google Scholar
  15. Westing, A.H. 1971–1972. Herbicides in war: current status and future doubt. Biological Conservation (Barking, UK) 4(5):322–327.Google Scholar
  16. Westing, A.H. 1974. Proscription of ecocide: arms control and the environment. Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists (Chicago) 30(1):24–27.Google Scholar
  17. Westing, A.H., & Pfeiffer, E.W. 1972, Cratering of Indochina. Scientific American (New York) 226(5):20–29, 138; (6):7.Google Scholar
  18. Williams, L. 1965. Vegetation of Southeast Asia: Studies of Forest Types. Beltsville, MD, USA: US Agricultural Research Service, Publication No. CR 49–65, 302 pp.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© The Author(s) 2013

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Security & EducationWesting Associates in EnvironmentPutneyUSA

Personalised recommendations