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

  • Arthur H. Westing
Part of the SpringerBriefs on Pioneers in Science and Practice book series (BRIEFSPIONEER, volume 1)


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.


Rubber Plantation Ecological Damage Cacodylic Acid Military Tactic Area Denial 
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Copyright information

© The Author(s) 2013

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Security & EducationWesting Associates in EnvironmentPutneyUSA

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