The Great Debate UK

from Global News Journal:

Volcano chaos: A pointer to potential Iran/Gulf smoke disruption?

volcanoAs if they didn’t have enough to think about, planners trying to pin down the unintended consequences of a strike on Iran may be required to reorder their lengthy worry list.

The concern? Iceland’s volcano, or rather, the vivid reminder the exploding mountain provided to governments of the importance of civil emergency planning.

The ash clouds and the flight chaos it produced may be a foretaste, writ large, of the disruption to daily life in the Gulf that could temporarily result from military conflict and its aftermath in the area, some analysts say.

The Kuwait oil fires of the 1990-91 Gulf conflict provide an example of the confusion and damage that can result from smoke and pollution, quite apart from the popular anxiety caused by war itself, write Riad Kahwaji and Theodore Karasik of the Institute for Near East and Gulf Military Analysis.

In January, 1991, Iraqi forces torched hundreds of Kuwaiti oil fields, creating clouds of heavy smoke across the northern Gulf in the last moments of the conflict. Saddam Hussein’s action was mainly political, not military: in what Kuwaitis perceived as a monumental act of spite, he was laying waste to an asset he was forced to relinquish.