Naval War College Review


James P. Terry


The Iraq invasion of Kuwait and the resulting environmental carnage caused by the burning of oil wells and the fouling of Gulf waters have heightened international concern for the adverse environmental effects of armed conflict. The questions which arise relate to the sufficiency of the existing legal regime intended to protect the environment, and to parallel concern that more extensive strictures could restrict legitimize defensive military operations under the law of armed conflict. This paper examines these issues, and concludes that the current framework of relevant international law, when understood and applied, protects both the environment and the broader interests represented in the law of armed conflict