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Lecture 8

Lecture 8 lecture notes - Water & War.pdf

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Earth Sciences
Luc Bernier

Water & War 1) Which of the following countries is in the midst of a civil war? a. Syria b. Spain c. Greece d. South Africa Control Over Water  Six-Day war, in 1967: Aimed at gaining control of the headwaters of the River Jordan o Meant to secure water supplies o Creating a buffer zone with Egypt  Ariel Sharon, 2001: “Water diversion was a stark issue of life and death”  Israeli tanks advancing on the Golan Heights Part 1 - Water and Strategic Warfare Water and Ancient Wars  Freshwater supply: a strategic resource in armed conflicts throughout history  Freshwater supply has always been a strategic in armed conflicts throughout history  Securing the water supply has always been one of the first prerequisites for protecting a city in war time  For instance a 1 km long tunnel engineered by Eupalinos of Megara diverted spring water to the city of Samos and helped assisting the Greek city through a Persian attack around 550 BC  This tunnel is now restored Water and Modern Wars  Water supplies today: are still open to threats from war and terrorism, directly or indirectly  Special operations forces (e.g. Navy Seals)  Water supplies today are still open to threats from war and terrorism, directly or indirectly  Both forms of violence have used disruption or poisoning of water supplies as a weapon both may cause collateral damage to water supplies  Special operations forces, e.g. Navy Seals, may use tactics similar to those employed by terrorists with similar repercussion s to water systems  The main practical consideration is between formal military actions and more informal smaller scale gorilla activities which may be direction more at civilian personnel and designed to engineer fear and panic as well as specific damage Acts of “Water Violence”  Executed by retreating forces as furtive attacks or: to protect their rear  South-West African Campaign, 1915 Water & War o Acts of water violence may be executed by retreating forces as furtive attacks or to protect their rear o During the WWI German troops poisoned water wells as they retreated from advancing south-African troops during the south-west African campaign in 1915 o South-West Africa is now called Numidia  German troops blew up dykes: protecting newly reclaimed polders  Netherlands, 1945 o During their retreat from the Netherlands in 1945 German troops blew up dykes protecting newly reclaimed polders o This flooded the land in four villages but the action had no military purpose  Iraqi forces retreating from Kuwait in 1991 opened valves of coastal oil wells  Coast of Kuwait, 1991 o Iraqi forces retreating from Kuwait in 1991 opened the valves of coastal oil wells releasing tons of oil into the Persian Gulf with considerable ecological consequences o The aim of this action was to force the closure of a Saudi desalination plant which is a prime water resource for the capital Water as a Weapon of War  By withholding or destroying water supplies as: a means of wearing down resistance  Dead sheep decomposing o Water may be used as a weapon of war by withholding or destroying the water supplies as a means of wearing down the enemy’s resistance o For instance the Romans used dead carcases to pollute the enemies water supplies for instance a dead sheep in water that is decomposing o In modern times during the Gulf war in 1991 a plan was proposed for Turkey to cut off the flow of the Euphrates in the Tigris rivers into Iraq but this was never implemented Water Bombs  On occasion, excess of water has been used as a weapon  Operation Chastise, 1943  Lancaster o On occasion the excess water has been used as a weapon o During WWII British dambuster aircrafts which were modified Lancaster’s attacked dams in valley in Germany with bouncing bombs  City of Dortmund; coal mines, factories, ironworks were inundated  Eder dam  Mohne Dam o The result of the operation was the bursting of the Eder and Mohne dams in1943 o The hydropower plant of the Eder dam, then the largest in Europe, was destroyed o Other dams downstream from the Mohne collapsed because of flooding o The city of Dortmund, coal mines, factories, ironworkers were inundated o 1500 people died as a result of the flooding Water & War Part 2 - Water and Modern Wars War Against the Marsh Arabs  In 1991, Shiite Muslims: encouraged to rise up against Saddam Hussein by the US  The marsh lands are located between the Tigris and the Euphrates rivers  With more military resources this regime was able to complete this opposition Draining of the Marshes  Through diversions: as retaliation after the insurrection of 1991  From 1992 to 1993  40 rivers were diverted  Water was taken from the marshes and used to irrigate other areas  The original population was about 5 million people  Due to the impacts of the diversion (collapse of ecosystem) only 85, 000 people were left Draining of the Marshes: Aftermath  After all the diversions the central marshes disappeared along with the vegetation  90% of the marshlands were drained  A lot of the water taken/diverted away for irrigation were used on soils that were prone to salainization and weren’t good for irrigation  Salinization in 80% of soils Large Dams as Military Targets  Kajaki Dam  Starting in the 1950’s when the Americans were providing money for the construction of the dam during the cold war  The dam was completed in the 1970’s  The plan was to leave some of the water behind Water & War  For irrigation of 1800 km of land  US air force, in 2001 Water and the Balkan Wars  Operation Deliberate Force, 1995  Operation Noble Anvil, 1999 o Belgrade  As a result of this a lot of pollutants were leaked and contaminated the water supply leading to environmental impacts  Pipes were destroyed  Sewer lines were also destroyed  Depleted Uranium o All of the uranium was in the environment  Sarajevo, 1993 Water & Collateral Damage  Battle of Fallujah  By 2010 the government advised the women in the area to abstain (have more babies) o Children were born with deformations/abnormalities o Hydrocephalus o Heart defects o Cancer  The use of depleted uranium in the shells has to do with this 2) Which of the following impacts of war on eater resources will likely become more frequent in years to come? a. Indirect health effects from bombing b. Destruction of water distribution systems c. Relocation of targeted populations d. Destruction of large-scale water projects Part 3 - War and the Control of Water Control of Weather  Control of weather has major military implications  Omaha Beach, June 6 1944 o The control of weather has major military implications o For example D Day, the invasion of Normandy during WWII, could have been entirely derailed by permanent bad weather o The only weather control available at the time was fog dispersal Operation Popeye  Artificial rainmaking methods were used extensively: during Viet Nam war  Ho Chi Minh Trail Water & War o Artificial rainmaking methods were used extensively during the Vietnam war o Operation Popeye  Seed clouds with silver iodide to extend the monsoon season over Vietnam, Laos and Cambodia causing landslides and floods that would block the Ho Chi Minh Trail, the supply route from North Vietnam to the South  Sorties by U.S.A.F.: twice a day for 45 days, for 5 years o The US air force sortied twice a day for 45 days during the Monsoonal season for 5 years o The operation didn’t work because the Vietcong was used to the monsoonal conditions “Owning the weather in 2025”  Use of weather in war as proposed by: US military research paper o The use of weather in war was recently proposed by US research paper “Weather as a Force Multiplier Owning the Weather in 2025” o All these developments are coming despite concerns of the UN general assembly o The 1977 convention on the prohibition of India style use of environmental modification techniques indicates that countries that participate in the convention agree to desist from military use of weather modification o The US military claims that the focus is on the suppression of weather not on making it worse o The document represents radical thinking for the future o Some of the possibilities considered by the US army are interfering with precipitation to make it last longer, maintain the troops concern, control visibility, improve or maintain the level of operational capability or also inducing droughts as an aggressive step against the enemy  Inducing fog o Fog may be induced as part of an aggressive step to remove the possibility for the enemy of conducting airfield operations or to increase the concealment of operations o As a defensive step fog may be used to increase the concealment of troops  Inducing storms  Baghdad Airfield during a sandstorm, 2005 o Storms may be induced as part of an aggressive step to remove airfield operations of the enemy or to increase the concealment of operations o As a defensive measure storms may be used to hamper enemy operations Project Stormfury  Hypothesis: seeding would lead to more latent heat being released  To date project Stormfury is the only serious attempt by the US military to modify the strength of a major storm  With regards to hurricanes it was hypothesized by seeding the eye wall with silver iodide latent heat would be released  This would promote the formation of a new eye wall  As this new eye wall was larger than the old eye wall the winds of the tropical cyclone would be weaker due to reduced pressure gradient Water & War  This only seemed to work with Hurricane Debbie in 1969  The overall result of the project was that controlling hurricanes is not feasible  However, this approach can work with smaller storms using black carbon to induce more evaporation and convection Emergency Services and Military Conflicts  Securing water supplies during and after conflicts: inadequate and amateurish o When it comes down to securing water supplied during armed conflicts a recent workshop on threats to global water security concluded that the present arrangements for securing water supplies during and after armed conflicts are inadequate and amateurish o Most of the work is left to nongovernmental organization and the red cross or the red crescent  Emergency work should: provide water for drinking and sanitation o The conclusions of the workshop were that emergency work should focus on providing adequate volumes of water for drinking and providing sanitation to prevent poisoning and outbreaks of waterborne diseases o The priorities should therefore be the provision of water, the continuity of water supplies and ensuring water quality  NATO: proposal for military sections specialized in water provision o The workshop also recommended that armed forces should be formally involved in resorting safe drinking water and sanitation at early stages when it is too dangerous for aid workers to enter the field of combat o Some non-governmental organizations have opposed this idea while others are in favour o It was also proposed that special sections of the military specialized in water provision should be formed Water & War Part 4 - Preventing Attacks Water and Cyber Wars  Water supply facilities: are vulnerable points of attack for foreign agents  J. Edgar Hoover o Water supply facilities are vulnerable points of attack for foreign agents o A fact that was long recognized by J. Edgar Hoover, the director of the FBI, as early as 1941  Systems that control water distribution tend to operate: in a very open environment o Systems that control water distribution tend to operate in a very open environment o Even more now as systems are heavily reliant on automated computer controls o Most of the improvements currently on the way in water security rely on computers o This is a problem as hackers can be very sophisticated and circumvent firewalls Cyberwarfare  USA: 37.000 attempts to breach governments and private systems were recorded in 2007 o Cyber attacks may be state sponsored or acts of terrorisms or commercial espionage and they are increasing o In the US alone 37.000 attempts to breach governments and private systems were recorded in 2007 o The number of attacks in probably much higher as statistics don’t include systems without intrusion detection systems o The American congress has cited China as the single greatest threat to American technology o Most attacks come also from Russia and north Korea o 120 countries in total were involved in attempts to breach security of American computer systems mostly for commercial espionage  Cyber attacks on power networks resulting in casualties: would mobilize NATO  Air Force Cyber Command o Cyber attacks on power networks resulting in causalities would mobilize NATO o As stated in 2010 by the former secretary of state reported that this would be sufficient under current NATO rules o The US air force has 40 000 staff preparing for cyber war as part of the Air Force Cyber Command Terrorism  Since 9/11: sensitive inf
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