Gulf War 1991 And Hazardous Waste Impact On The Environment Research Paper Samples

Type of paper: Research Paper

Topic: Middle East, Environment, Oil, War, Iraq, Persian Gulf, Atomic Bomb, Water

Pages: 5

Words: 1375

Published: 2021/02/28

The war in the Persian Gulf suggests that nowadays the arms race is the main threat to the survival of mankind and its security. It led to the use of modern conventional weapons, which are comparable to the means of mass destruction effects, the so-called "threshold" state, which at the time acceded to the Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Weapons of 1972, as well as to the Paris Convention in 1989 on the destruction of chemical weapons put on the brink of reality the usage of nuclear and chemical weapons. Events that took place in Kuwait and the surrounding areas of the Persian Gulf after the operation "Desert Storm" in early 1991 are the most typical example of an environmental catastrophe. The object of an armed attack in Kuwait in this war was the environment itself. Deliberate destruction of ecological systems in the region considered belligerents as a special and effective means of weakening the enemy.
Ammunition with a core of depleted uranium was widely used by anti-Iraq coalition forces led by the United States during the Gulf War. However, the soldiers who used them marked the deterioration of their health. In addition, the use of uranium munitions in Iraq, according to reports, has led to a significant increase in cases of cancer among the local population. It even prompted the Iraqi government in May 1995 to file a formal complaint to the United Nations, based on medical reports on the pollution in the country with depleted uranium. (“Low-Intensity Nuclear War: Radioactive "Wasting" with the New Agent Orange”,) Dozens of foreign and American experts also expressed concern on this matter. It received such a wide publicity that the United States Congress demanded the Pentagon to report on the impact of depleted uranium used by the United States Army in the Gulf War on health and the environment. In this 193-page document, in particular, there were arguments that it is unlikely that depleted uranium has caused an unknown disease to more than two dozen veterans of the war against Iraq, which was called "Persian War syndrome". At the same time, the report stated that more than 70% of the material armor-piercing core of depleted uranium on target can evaporate, infecting the area of ​​uranium oxides. Pieces of the core can contaminate the soil near the affected tank If depleted uranium enters the human body, it can cause chemical and radiation injury of the body. The United States is the world's leading supplier of depleted uranium for weapons. In addition, this material is used for military purposes by the Great Britain, Russia, Turkey, Saudi Arabia, Pakistan, Thailand, France and Israel. In arid regions, most of depleted uranium remains on the surface in the form of dust - it was in the combat zone of the Persian Gulf. In rainy areas depleted uranium is easier to percolate into the soil. After its usage radon and radium formed in gaseous form concentrating a high radioactivity. These compounds can be spread by the wind for hundreds of kilometers, which means pollution of the territory of the entire Northern Hemisphere. In the Gulf radiation level was recorded eight times higher than normal. Aerosols formed after the radioactive explosion spread for miles around. A large number of abnormal infants was noted in those parts of Iraq, where during the war in the Persian Gulf were allegedly were used depleted uranium bombs. During "Operation Desert Storm" in Iraq and Kuwait was used in total 320 tons of the uranium against tanks and shelters with enhancing armor-piercing effect of shells. On the basis of servicemen surveys involved in the operation "Desert Storm", it was revealed that many of them had significant abnormalities in the structure of chromosomes.  Uranus stuffed, in particular, bombs, capable of striking deep underground bunkers, the so-called bunker buster bombs, were used, as example, in Afghanistan. Berlin biochemist Professor Albrecht Schott explains that due to the extremely high density of uranium in weapons it can penetrate down to several meters of stone or tank armor. Professor Schott examined nineteen British soldiers, veterans of the first war in the Persian Gulf for defects of genetic material. This kind of analysis is extremely complex, laborious and expensive. And in spite of this, according to Albrecht Schott, he considered it his duty to investigate the so-called "Balkan syndrome". The name given to frequent cases of cancer and in particular leukemia with veterans of the war in Bosnia and Kosovo, as well as the first war in Iraq, which used munitions containing depleted uranium. "I found a significant amount of defects in chromosomal structure, in all nineteen cases. 67% of children of veterans of the first war in the Persian Gulf, born after the war, have significant birth defects. Thousands of people are considered being victims of the disease, including the population of Iraq, especially the South Iraq, Kuwait and Saudi Arabia, as radioactive aerosols, which is formed after the explosion, spreads for miles."("A Treatise on Military Weapons Containing the Radioactive Material: Depleted Uranium", March 23, 2003) By conducting extensive research on this subject United Kingdom and the United States Ministries of Defense reject the link between depleted uranium and the syndrome. Americans and their allies intend to continue use munitions containing depleted uranium because their danger to the health of soldiers was not finally proved.
The troops of the anti-Iraq coalition, formed by the 32 states defeated the Iraqi army and liberated Kuwait. However, preparing for defense, the Iraqis opened valves at oil terminals and emptied several loaded oil tankers. This step was taken in order to hinder the coalition landing. Up to 1.5 million tons of oil (different sources give different data) ran out in the Persian Gulf. As warfare was in progress no one thought for a while of fighting the catastrophe. Oil covered about 1 sq. m. km. the surface of the Gulf and polluted about 600 km. coasts. In order to prevent further oil spill, the United States aircrafts bombed several Kuwaiti oil pipelines. As a result of the barbaric actions of the Iraqi army11 million barrels of oil got in the sea and there was formed a spot size of 140 to 130 km, and the area of ​​the oil lakes on land is 10 thousand sq. m. m. The flora and fauna of the sea coast were completely destroyed by more than 100 km, and the ecosystem of the affected areas has not yet been recovered. More than $ 100 million had already spent only to fight oil pollution. Water pollution of the Persian Gulf has catastrophic consequences: broken coastal ecosystem of the Gulf, including coral reefs, migration routes of birds, fish, shrimps; there was a threat to the drinking water supply of 18 million inhabitants of the region. As a result of intensive evaporation of light oil on the surface of the Gulf waters near the islands of Abu Ali and batting formed oil "peels", a kind of asphalt roads up to 400 m with a thickness of 10 cm. In turn, retreating from Kuwait, Iraqi troops blew up most of 1250 oil wells. Over 700 of them burned for six months, poisoning the environment with gases and soot. As a result, about 70 million cu. m. of gas a day were threw into the atmosphere, including up to 50 thousand tons of sulfur dioxide (the main component of acid rain), up to 100 thousand tons of carbon dioxide.
During 46 United Nations session, General Assembly adopted a draft resolution A / 46 / PV.79 of 20 December, 1992, entitled “International cooperation to mitigate the environmental consequences on Kuwait and other countries in the region resulting from the situation between Iraq and Kuwait”. (“International cooperation to mitigate the environmental consequences on Kuwait and other countries in the region resulting from the situation between Iraq and Kuwait”) According to this document the only way to prevent environmental disasters in the region was considered the cooperation of the countries concerned and managing ecological processes in the area of ​​the Persian Gulf and Gulf of Oman only within the collective interaction. To do this, there were signed agreements between the regional states, namely the Convention on "Regional Cooperation Kuwait Environmental Protection and the Persian Gulf of Oman", composed previously in 1978. After that, the Regional Organization for the Protection of the Marine Environment (ROPME) was founded with the purpose of saving the environment of the geostrategic area. However, unfortunately, after more than three decades since the conclusion of these regional agreements, we still see irreversible environmental damage caused to this unique body of water. Of course, the Persian and the Gulf of Oman should raise the level of cooperation in the field of environmental protection in the region. However, unfortunately, much political issues dominate over this issue and hinder the adoption of serious steps to save the ecology of the Gulf. Another reason for the failure of member states to implement the agreement ROPME is the dependence of regional countries on oil revenues. This fact pushes the environment into the background. In 2005 United Nations Compensation Commission agreed to pay $ 2.9 billion dollars to Kuwait and Saudi Arabia for the environmental restoration program, the victims in 1990-91 from Iraq's invasion of Kuwait. This decision was taken by the Governing Council of the United Nations Compensation Commission at the end of the three-day meeting in Geneva. United Nations Compensation Commission was established by the Security Council in 1991to review claims and pay compensation to individuals, companies, governments and international organizations affected by the illegal invasion and occupation of Kuwait by Iraq in August 1990 - March 1991. Compensation Commission granted claims of the three countries - Kuwait, Saudi Arabia and Iran. As a result, the Government of Kuwait received 2.28 billion, Saudi Arabia - 625 mln, And Iran - 188 thousand. Thus Compensation Commission has rejected claims of Jordan, Syria and Turkey which also claimed compensation for damage caused by the ecology of their countries. The great part of Persian Gulf restore was taken by Divers Association from Kuwait which refreshed the sea flora and fauna. This campaign was financed greatly with the help of Saudi Aramco Company. It gave substantial financial aid to many different non-commercial bodies dealing with the oil remove. Furthermore, the company provided special equipment and instrumental facilities for the researches of pollution levels Saudi Aramco staff had also taken an active part in recovery of Persian Gulf environment. By-turn, Royal Commission of Saudi Arabia presented special training plan in accordance with it all the oil-companies employees undergo special briefings in case of massive oil leaks as it was during the war. Those include preventive actions with the attraction of modern recycling equipment in case of danger.
On the surface as well as in the desert of the Persian Gulf were formed huge lakes and patches of oil that killed many marine animals (fish, crabs, lobsters, turtles), birds. The desert is easily exposed to erosion. Movement of vehicles on the sand led to the degradation of already scarce water resources, as a result of ecosystem was destroyed. To put out fires in oil wells during the first Iraq war, it took almost a year; the total costs amounted to about $ 2 billion dollars with firefighting experts from sixteen countries. Throughout this period the products of combustion spread through the air for hundreds of miles, threatening the existence of all ecosystems. As possible geological and geophysical effects of both the first and second military conflict in Iraq, experts mention minor earthquakes that occurred as a result of the use of multi-ton bombs. Such shifts of the crust could be felt at a distance of 500 km from the epicenter of the warfare - or rather, from the venue bombing campaign. The inevitable negative result turn out to be not only the bombing using multi-ton bombs, but also ordinary, which results in the destruction of the power plants and waterworks. The first is likely to disrupt the functioning of water supply facilities and reduction of providing the population with clean fresh water. There is a danger of the spread of infectious diseases caused by consumption of contaminated water, or simply lack of the necessary number of domestic water.
This event has become one of the biggest environmental disasters of the 20th century. For a long time intellectuals thought about how to keep their places of habitat for future generations. It is believed that the environmental right appeared in the 13th century in the world. The first decree was the order of King Edward, which prohibits the use of coal for heating homes in London. And the very first environmental document is considered to be preserved stone stele found in China, dating by scientists back to 1549 year. At 1.6 m high stele carved 700 characters, which prohibit deforestation and oblige citizens planting forests in desert areas. Decree stamped on the stele states that anyone who disobeys the order, will be exiled to remote areas of the empire. In the 19th century almost every self-respecting state has paid attention to the conservation of nature. Human has been able to balance on the edge, beyond which - irreplaceable. In the 20th century, mankind has successfully passed that line, and this period in history has the potential to be called a period of environmental disasters.

Works cited

"Organization and mission of the Forces". Web. Jan. 1993. <>
"Low-Intensity Nuclear War: Radioactive "Wasting" with the New Agent Orange". Web. n.d. < >
"A Treatise on Military Weapons Containing the Radioactive Material: Depleted Uranium". 2003. Web. Mar. 23. 2003. <>
"International cooperation to mitigate the environmental consequences on Kuwait and other countries in the region resulting from the situation between Iraq and Kuwait". 1992. Web. Dec. 18. 1992. <>
Mughal, Muhammad Aurang Zeb. 2013. "Persian Gulf Desert and Semi-desert." Biomes & Ecosystems, Vol. 3, Robert Warren Howarth (ed.). Ipswich, MA: Salem Press, pp. 1000-1002.

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Gulf War 1991 And Hazardous Waste Impact On The Environment Research Paper Samples. Free Essay Examples - Published Feb 28, 2021. Accessed September 27, 2023.

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