How many people died in all wars, massacres, slaughters and oppressions of the 20th century? Perhaps this might be considered an impossible question to answer. However, there are a number of historians and researchers who have attempted an answer.
M. Cherif Bassouni – Law and Contemporary Problems: Total - 203,000,000
Zbigniew Brzezinski – Out of Control: Global Turmoil on the Eve of the 21st Century – “Lives deliberately extinguished by politically motivated carnage” - 167,000,000 – 175,000,000
Milton Leitenberg – “Politically caused deaths in the 20th century” – 214,000,000 – 226,000,000
Rudolf J. Rummel – Death By Government – “Democides” – Government inflicted deaths [1900-87], wars, famines associated with war and Communist mismanagement -258,327,000
Matthew White – Historical Atlas of the Twentieth Century, 2010 – 203,000,000
The impact of wars can be seen not only in terms of human deaths,the destruction of cities, towns and villages and its associated economic and social disruption etc – but also in the environments in which these wars have been waged. The long years of war have resulted in a radical destruction of forest cover and an increase in carbon emissions. In addition, water supplies have been contaminated by oil from military vehicles and depleted uranium from ammunition, as well as benzene and trichloroethylene from air base operations. Perchlorate, a toxic ingredient in rocket propellant, is one of a number of contaminants commonly found in groundwater around munitions storage sites around the world. Along with the degradation of natural resources, there has also been a massive loss of animal and bird life etc.
The wars have also damaged and destroyed forests, wetlands and marshlands in Afghanistan, Pakistan and Iraq. Radical deforestation has accompanied this and the previous wars in Afghanistan. Total forest area decreased 38% in Afghanistan from 1990 to 2007. This is a result of illegal logging, which is associated with the rising power of the warlords who have enjoyed U.S. support. In addition, deforestation has occurred in each of these countries as refugees seek out fuel and building materials. Drought, desertification, and species loss that accompany habitat loss have been the result. Moreover, as the wars have led to environmental destruction, the degraded environment itself contributes to further conflict.
U.S. bases became a lucrative market for the skins of the Snow Leopard, and impoverished and refugee Afghans have been more willing to break the ban on hunting them, in place since 2002. Foreign aid workers have also bought the skins. The remaining numbers of Snow Leopards were estimated at between 100 and 200 in 2008.