The purpose of this investigation is to assess the extent of which the Iraq invasion of Kuwait impacted Kuwait’s environment. This will be done by assessing the pollution created during the fighting portion of the war as well as the beginning of the oil fires. Furthermore the pollution of the oil fires will be looked at in regards to terrestrial pollution as well as wildlife pollution. This investigation will include an evaluation of the origin, purpose, value and limitations of 2 sources, The Environmental Consequences of War: legal, economic and scientific perspectives by Jay E. Austin and Carl E. Bruch, as well as John Loretz’s article titled The Animal Victims of the Gulf War.
Part B: Summary of Evidence
Pollution from fighting during the war and the beginning of the oil fires:
• Many military weapons used during the war polluted the land, the sea, and the air.
• As troops invaded the country their equipment destroyed foliage.
• Tanks and trucks used by the military tore up the soil surfaces.2
• Military equipment disrupted terrestrial habitats.2
• Hundreds of ditches were dug up by Iraqi troops.2
• Large amounts of solid, semi-solid, and liquid wastes were simply discarded.2
• Millions of land mines (other than those placed around the oil wells) were planted around the city.2
Oil Wells set on fire:
• Fires caused the worlds largest man made environmental catastrophe.2
• Wells were set on fire quickly (10 to 15 minute intervals).
• The wells on fire allowed vast amounts of oil to spew out onto the land.3
• In January 1991, the first few oil wells were set ablaze.
• By February 1991, estimates of 190 oil wells were set on fire by Iraqi troops.4
• Damaged approximately 700 oil wells...
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...bridge: Cambridge UP, 2000. Print.
Bjerg, Poul L., Peter Engesgaard, and Thomas D. Krom. Groundwater 2000: Proceedings of the International Conference on Groundwater Research, Copenhagen, Denmark, 6-8 June 2000. Vol. 1. Rotterdam, Netherlands: A.A. Balkema, 2000. Print.
IBRAHIM, YOUSSEF M. "Most Oil Fires Are Out in Kuwait, But Its Environment Is Devastated." The New York Times. The New York Times, 18 Oct. 1991. Web. 23 Mar. 2014.
Loretz, John. "The Animal Victims of the Gulf War." The PSR Quarterly 1. (1991): 221-25. Web.
Sadiq, Muhammad, and John C. McCain. The Gulf War Aftermath An Environmental Tragedy. Dordrecht: Springer Netherlands, 1993. Print.
"The Economic and Environmental Impact of the Gulf War on Kuwait and the Persian Gulf." KUWAIT TED Case. N.p., n.d. Web. 17 Mar. 2014.
"The Importance of Birds." The Importance of Birds. N.p., 2001. Web. 30 Mar. 2014.
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