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University of Baltimore Journal of Land and Development

Abstract

Throughout history, war and armed conflict have maintained a continuous presence around the world. Though the reasons for war change, various nations emerge and subside, and populations alter, one of the constant elements of war is its degrading effect on the environment. In addition to indirect effects on the environment that ultimately result from war, nations have used the environment as both a weapon and target of war. For example, during the Peloponnesian War, the Spartans salted Athenian lands to make them infertile. In the Franco-Dutch War from 1672 to 1678, dikes and damns were destroyed in order to create massive flooding. Lastly, during the Vietnam War, the United States implemented a strategy that included massive rural bombings, chemical and mechanical deforestation, and large-scale crop destruction.

 

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