by Michel Chossudovsky
27 September 2004
"Environmental warfare is defined as the intentional modification or
manipulation of the natural ecology, such as climate and weather,
earth systems such as the ionosphere, magnetosphere, tectonic plate
system, and/or the triggering of seismic events (earthquakes) to
cause intentional physical, economic, and psycho-social, and
physical destruction to an intended target geophysical or population
location, as part of strategic or tactical war."
What are the underlying causes of extreme weather instability, which
has ravaged every major region of the World in the course of the
last few years?
Hurricanes and tropical storms have ravaged the Caribbean. Central
Asia and the Middle East are afflicted by drought. West Africa is
facing the biggest swarm of locusts in more than a decade. Four
destructive hurricanes and a tropical rain storm Alex, Ivan,
Frances, Charley and Jeanne have occurred in a sequence, within a
short period of time.
Unprecedented in hurricane history in the
Caribbean, the island of Grenada was completely devastated: 37
people died and roughly two-thirds of the island's 100,000
inhabitants have been left homeless; in Haiti, more than two
thousand people have died and tens of thousands are homeless.
Dominican Republic, Jamaica, Cuba, the Bahamas and Florida have also
been devastated. In the US, the damage in several Southern states
including Florida, Alabama, Georgia, Mississippi and the Carolinas
is the highest in US history.
A study released in July 2003, by the World Meteorological
Organization (WMO) places the blame, without further examination, at
the feet of global warming:
"These record extreme events [high temperatures, low temperatures
and high rainfall amounts and droughts] all go into calculating the
monthly and annual averages which, for temperatures, have been
gradually increasing over the past 100 years," the WMO said in its
(CNN, July 3, 2003,
While global warming is undoubtedly an important factor, it does not
fully account for these extreme and unusual weather patterns.
The significant expansion in America's weather warfare arsenal,
which is a priority of the Department of Defense is not a matter for
debate or discussion.
While, environmentalists blame the Bush
administration for not having signed the Kyoto protocol, the issue
of "weather warfare", namely the manipulation of weather patterns
for military use is never mentioned.
The US Air Force has the capability of manipulating climate either
for testing purposes or for outright military-intelligence use.
These capabilities extend to the triggering of floods, hurricanes,
droughts and earthquakes. In recent years, large amounts of money
have been allocated by the US Department of Defense to further
developing and perfecting these capabilities.
Weather modification will become a part of domestic and
international security and could be done unilaterally... It could
have offensive and defensive applications and even be used for
The ability to generate precipitation, fog, and
storms on earth or to modify space weather, ... and the production
of artificial weather all are a part of an integrated set of
technologies which can provide substantial increase in US, or
degraded capability in an adversary, to achieve global awareness,
reach, and power. (US Air Force. Air University of
the US Air Force, AF 2025 Final Report,
While there is no firm evidence that the US Air Force weather
warfare facilities have been deliberately applied to modify weather
patterns, one would expect that if these capabilities are being
developed for military use, they would at least be the object of
routine testing, much in the same way as the testing of new
conventional and strategic weapons systems.
Needless to say, the subject matter is a scientific taboo. The
possibility of climatic or environmental manipulations as part of a
military and intelligence agenda, while tacitly acknowledged, is
never considered as relevant. Military analysts are mute on the
subject. Meteorologists are not investigating the matter, and
environmentalists are strung on global warming and the Kyoto
Ironically, the Pentagon, while recognizing its ability to modify
the World's climate for military use, has joined the global warming
a major study (pdf), the Pentagon has analyzed in
detail the implications of various global warming scenarios.
The Pentagon document constitutes a convenient cover-up. Not a word
is mentioned about its main weather warfare program: The
High-Frequency Active Auroral Research Program (HAARP) based in
Gokona, Alaska - jointly managed by the US Air Force and the US
Unusual Weather Patterns (2003-2004)
Alex, Ivan, Frances, Charley and Jeanne (August-September 2004):
Four destructive hurricanes and a tropical rain storm occur in a
sequence, within a short period of time. Unprecedented in hurricane
history in the Caribbean, the island of Grenada is completely
devastated: 37 people died and roughly two-thirds of the island's
100,000 inhabitants have been left homeless, in Haiti, more than two
thousand people have died and tens of thousands have been made
homeless. The Dominican Republic, Jamaica, Cuba and the Bahamas have
also been devastated.
In the US, the damage hitting several Southern states including
Florida, Alabama, Georgia, Mississippi and the Carolinas is the
highest in US history.
Brazil March 2004: The first-ever hurricane formed in the South
Atlantic, striking Brazil with 90 mph winds and causing up to a
dozen deaths. "Meteorologists were left scratching their heads in
bewilderment as the familiar swirl of clouds, complete with a
well-defined eye, appeared in an oceanic basin where none had been
(WP, 19 September 2004, See also
Japan, China and the Korean Peninsula: "Japan has suffered its
highest number of typhoon strikes on record, and the storms - which
hit at the rate of one a week for much of the summer - wreaked
havoc in Taiwan, China and the Korean Peninsula." (ibid)
China (August 2004): Typhoon Rananim, the worst in 48 years, has
killed at least 164 people and injured more than 1800 in China's
Zhejiang province. Rananim is confirmed by China's meteorological
authorities to be the strongest to hit the Chinese
mainland since 1956. It is estimated to have
disrupted the life of some 13 million people.
United States May 2003 : 562 tornadoes hit the United States, the
highest in recorded history, far exceeding the previous monthly peak
of 399 in June 1992.
(CNN, July 3, 2003,
India, early 2003: a pre-monsoon heat wave caused peak temperatures
of between 45 and 49 degrees Celsius (113 to 120 degrees
Fahrenheit), killing more than 1400 people. (Ibid)
Sri Lanka, "heavy rainfalls from Tropical Cyclone 01B exacerbated
already wet conditions, causing flooding and landslides and more
than 300 fatalities." (Ibid)
Western Europe Summer 2003: experienced extremely high Summer
temperatures. "Switzerland experienced its hottest June  in at
least 250 years while in the south of France average temperatures
were between 5 and 7 degrees Celsius (9 to 13 degrees Fahrenheit)
warmer than the long term average. England and Wales also
experienced their hottest month since 1976." (Ibid)
There are several mainstream explanations on weather and climate
change, none of which fully explains, within their respective terms
of reference, the highly unusual and erratic weather occurrences,
not to mention the human toll and devastation, which have led to the
destabilization of entire agricultural and eco-systems.
say these explanations never address the issue of climate
manipulation for military use.
Climatic Manipulation by the US Military
- The HAARP Program
The High-Frequency Active Auroral Research Program (HAARP) based in
Gokona, Alaska, has been in existence since 1992. It is part of a
new generation of sophisticated weaponry under the US Strategic
Defense Initiative (SDI).
Operated by the Air Force Research
Laboratory's Space Vehicles Directorate, HAARP constitutes a system
of powerful antennas capable of creating "controlled local
modifications of the ionosphere" [upper layer of the atmosphere]:
"[HAARP will be used] to induce a small, localized change in
ionospheric temperature so that resulting physical reactions can be
studied by other instruments located either at or close to the HAARP
Nicholas Begich - actively involved in the public campaign against HAARP - describes HAARP as:
"A super-powerful radiowave-beaming technology that lifts areas of
the ionosphere by focusing a beam and heating those areas.
Electromagnetic waves then bounce back onto earth and penetrate
everything - living and dead."
(for further details see Michel Chossudovsky
'Washington's New World Order
Weapons Have The Ability To Trigger Climate Change')
World renowned scientist Dr. Rosalie Bertell depicts HAARP as,
gigantic heater that can cause major disruptions in the ionosphere,
creating not just holes, but long incisions in the protective layer
that keeps deadly radiation from bombarding the planet."
(quoted in Chossudovsky, op cit.)
According to Richard Williams, a physicist and consultant to the
David Sarnoff laboratory in Princeton
HAARP constitutes "an irresponsible act of global vandalism."
others fear a secret second stage where HAARP would,
"beam much more energy into the
ionosphere. That could produce a severe disruption of the upper
atmosphere at one location that may produce effects that spread
rapidly around the Earth for years."
(Quoted in Scott Gilbert,
Environmental Warfare and US Foreign
Policy: The Ultimate Weapon of Mass Destruction)
HAARP has been presented to public opinion as a program of
scientific and academic research. US military documents seem to
suggest, however, that HAARP's main objective is to "exploit the
ionosphere for Department of Defense purposes." (quoted in Chossudovsky, op cit).
Without explicitly referring to the HAARP program, a US Air Force
study points to the use of "induced ionospheric modifications" as a
means of altering weather patterns as well as disrupting enemy
communications and radar. (Ibid)
HAARP also has the ability of triggering blackouts and disrupting
the electricity power system of entire regions.
An analysis of statements emanating from the US Air Force points to
the unthinkable: the covert manipulation of weather patterns,
communications systems and electric power as a weapon of global
warfare, enabling the US to disrupt and dominate entire regions of
- A Corporate Bonanza
HAARP has been operational since the early 1990s. Its system of
antennas at Gakona, Alaska, was initially based on a technology
patented by Advanced Power Technologies Inc. (APTI), a subsidiary of
Atlantic Ritchfield Corporation (ARCO).
The first phase of the HAARP Ionospheric Research Instrument (IRI) was completed by APTI. The IRI
system of antennas was first installed in 1992 by a subsidiary of
British Aerospace Systems (BAES) using the APTI patent. The antennas
beam into the outer-atmosphere using a set of wireless high
In 1994, ARCO sold its APTI subsidiary, including the patents and
the second phase construction contract to E-Systems, a secretive
high tech military outfit with links to the CIA.
E-Systems specializes in the production of electronic warfare
equipment, navigation and reconnaissance machinery, including
"highly sophisticated spying devices":
"[E-Systems] is one of the biggest
intelligence contractors in the world, doing work for the CIA,
defense intelligence organizations, and others. US$1.8 billion
of their annual sales are to these organizations, with $800
million for black projects-projects so secret that even the
United States Congress isn't told how the money is being spent.
High Frequency Vandalism
in the Sky?)
"The company has outfitted such military projects as the Doomsday
Plan (the system that allows the President to manage a nuclear war)
and Operation Desert Storm."
With the purchase of APTI, E-Systems acquired the strategic weather
warfare technology and patent rights, including Bernard J. Eastlund's
US Patent No: 4,686,605 entitled "Method and Apparatus
for Altering a Region in the Earth's Atmosphere, Ionosphere and/or
It is worth mentioning that the Eastlund /APTI patents were based on
the research of Yugoslav scientist
Nicola Tesla (many of whose ideas
were stolen by US corporations).
(See Scott Gilbert,
Environmental Warfare and US Foreign Policy:
The Ultimate Weapon of Mass Destruction)
Eastlund described this deadly technology as capable of:
"causing… total disruption of communications over a very large
portion of the Earth… missile or aircraft destruction, deflection or
confusion… weather modification…"
Not surprisingly, the patent had previously been sealed under a
government secrecy order.
Barely a year following the E-Systems purchase of APTI's weather
warfare technology, E-Systems was bought out by Raytheon, the fourth
largest US military contractor. Through this money-spinning
acquisition, Raytheon became the largest "defense electronics" firm
in the World.
Meanwhile, ARCO which had sold APTI to E-Systems, had itself been
acquired by the BP-AMOCO oil consortium, thereby integrating the
largest oil company in the World (BP).
Raytheon through its E-Systems subsidiary now owns the patents used
to develop the HAARP weather warfare facility at Gakona Alaska.
Raytheon is also involved in other areas of weather research for
military use, including the activities of its subsidiary in
Antarctica, Raytheon Polar Services.
"Owning the Weather"
- Towards the Expanded Final Stage
The HAARP antenna array and transmitters were slated to be built in
several distinct phases (http://www.haarp.alaska.edu/haarp/phases.html)
During the Clinton administration, the "Filled Developmental
Prototype" (FDP), namely a system composed of an array of 48 active
antenna elements with connected wireless transmitters, was installed
and completed at the HAARP facility in 1994. (See Figure 1 below)
Under the initial Developmental
Prototype (DP), only 18 of the 48
transmitters were connected.
Bernard Eastlund in a 1997 interview described this antenna array in
its Filled DP stage as the "the largest ionospheric heater ever
This system of 48 antennas, however, while fully operational, was
not according to Eastlund, powerful enough (in 1997) "to bring the
ideas in his patents to fruition":
"But they're getting up there", he said. "This is a very powerful
device. Especially if they go to the expanded stage."
Scott Gilbert, op cit, see also
Discordant HAARP - High-frequency Active
Auroral Research Program)
This 'final expanded stage' envisioned by Eastlund, which will
provide maximum capability to manipulate the World's weather
patterns, has now been reached.
Under the Bush administration, the main partner of Raytheon (which
owns the patents) in the construction and development stage of the
HAARP antenna array, is British Aerospace Systems (BAES), which had
been involved in the initial installation of the antenna array in
the early 1990s.
The multimillion dollar contract was granted by The Office of Naval
Research to BAES in 2003, through its US subsidiary BAE Systems
Advanced Technologies Inc. The contract was signed barely two months
before the Anglo-American invasion of Iraq.
Using Raytheon's technology, BAES was to develop the HAARP Ionospheric Research Instrument (IRI) to its maximum capabilities of
"Full size or final IRI (FIRI)".
In April 2003, BAE Systems Advanced Technologies outsourced the
production and installation of the antennas to
Phazar Corp., a company specializing in advanced wireless antennas for military
use. (Phazar owns
Antenna Products Corporation of Mineral Wells,
Phazar was entrusted with
producing and installing 132 crossed dipole antennas items for the
HAARP facility. (http://www.antennaproducts.com/News
A year later, in April 2004, the final phase in the expansion of the
HAARP facility was launched. (Dept of Defense, 19 April 2004). This
phase consisted in equipping all the 180 antennas with high
frequency transmitters. BAE Systems was awarded another lucrative
contract, this time for $35 million.
In July 2004, Phazar had delivered and installed the 132 crossed
dipole antennas including the antenna support structures and ground
screen items at the HAARP facility, bringing the number of antennas
from 48 under the FDP stage to 180. (see Table 2).
Meanwhile, BAE Systems had contracted with Jersey based defense
electronics firm DRS Technologies, Inc in an $11.5 million
outsourcing arrangement, the production and installation of the
high-frequency (HF) radio transmitters for the HAARP antenna array.
and Business Wire, 15 June 2004).
DRS specializes in a variety of
leading edge products for the U.S. military and intelligence
Under its contract with BAE Systems Information and Electronic
Warfare Systems in Washington, D.C., DRS is to manufacture and
install "more than 60 Model D616G 10-Kilowatt Dual Transmitters" to
be used with the HAARP system of antennas. (It is unclear from the
company statements whether all the 180 antennas will be equipped
with a transmitter, bringing the system up to full IRI
Deliveries and installation are to be completed by July 2006. While
HAARP is described as a "research project", the production of the
transmitters was entrusted to DRS' C41 "Command, Control,
Communications, Computers and Intelligence (C4I) Group"
The diagram and images below describe the HAARP Alaska Facility in
Figure 1: The Array of 48 Antenna Elements with the Transmitter
Shelters (FDP stage)
The 48 antenna array is supported by transmitter shelters, each of
which contains 6 transmitter cabinets. (See image of shelter below).
Each cabinet contains two transmitters (image of cabinet below).
The newly installed 132 dipole antennas supplied by Phazar vastly
increase the size of the HAARP Alaska facility; the new transmitters
are supplied and installed by DRS.
Image 1: Aerial Photo of the HAARP Alaska Site
Image 2: HAARP Antenna Array
Image 3 Transmitter Shelter
Transmitter Shelter containing Six Transmitter Cabinets. Each
Cabinet contains two transmitters
Image 4: Inside the Transmitter Shelter
Image 5. Two Transmitters making up a Transmitter Cabinet
Testing of HAARP Equipment (2003- 2004)
It is worth noting that the expansion of the antenna array (e.g.
during 2003-2004) required, as part of the contracts reached with
BAE Systems and its various subcontractors, the routine testing of
the installed weather warfare equipment.
An intermediate stage
Limited IRI (LIRI), could be in operation by 2004, following the
completion of the 180 antenna array under the Phazar contract and
pending the final delivery of the remaining HF radio transmitters.
In this regard, a report published by the Russian parliament (Duma)
in 2002, suggests that the US Military had plans to test its weather
modification techniques at its Alaska facility, as well as at two
"The committees reported that the USA is planning to test three
facilities of this kind. One of them is located on the military
testing ground in Alaska and its full-scale tests are to begin in
early 2003. The second one is in Greenland and the third one in
"When these facilities are launched into space from Norway, Alaska
and Greenland, a closed contour will be created with a truly
fantastic integral potential for influencing the near-Earth medium,"
the State Duma said.
The USA plans to carry out large-scale scientific experiments under
the HAARP program, and not controlled by the global community, will
create weapons capable of breaking radio communication lines and
equipment installed on spaceships and rockets, provoke serious
accidents in electricity networks and in oil and gas pipelines and
have a negative impact on the mental health of people populating
entire regions, the deputies said.
(Interfax News Agency, original
Russian, BBC Monitoring, 8 August 2002, emphasis added)
Whether this report by the Russian Duma on testing "starting in
early 2003" is correct or not, the US administration must be
confronted nationally and internationally, at the political and
diplomatic levels, at the UN and the US Congress, by the
international scientific community, by environmentalists and the
The future of humanity is threatened by the use of
weather modification techniques.
Moreover, to wage an effective campaign, it is essential that
corroborating scientific investigation of the unusual weather
occurrences observed in recent years (and particularly since early
2003) be undertaken. This investigation should be far-reaching,
collecting relevant data, correlating specific weather occurrences
to recorded antenna activity at the Alaska site as well as at the
two other sites, etc.
The Full Size Ionospheric Research Instrument FIRI stage, described
as "a maximum size of 180 antenna elements, arranged in 15 columns
by 12 rows" is scheduled to be completed by mid-2006 (assuming the
installation of the remaining dual transmitters), at which time the
HAARP program will have reached its maximum FIRI capacity, meaning
the ability to selectively modify, for military use, weather
patterns anywhere in the World.
"The IRI is currently [June 2004] composed of 48 antenna elements
and has a power capacity of 960,000 watts. When installed, the
additional 132 transmitters will give HAARP a 3.6 mega-watt capacity
[see Table 2 below].
The HAARP build-out is jointly funded by the
U.S. Air Force, the U.S. Navy and the Defense Advanced Research
Projects Agency (DARPA)."
(Business Wire, 10 June 2004)
Table 2: Comparison of IRI Phases
Number of Active
Maximum Antenna Gain
Radiated Pwr (dBW)
Min Antenna Pattern
2.8 to 10 MHz
This advanced stage of full capacity (FIRI) corresponds to what the
US Air Force has called "Owning the Weather":
US aerospace forces [will] 'own the weather' by capitalizing on
emerging technologies and focusing development of those technologies
to war-fighting applications...
From enhancing friendly operations
or disrupting those of the enemy via small-scale tailoring of
natural weather patterns to complete dominance of global
communications and counterspace control, weather-modification offers
the war fighter a wide-range of possible options to defeat or coerce
In the United States, weather-modification will
likely become a part of national security policy with both domestic
and international applications. Our government will pursue such a
policy, depending on its interests, at various levels.
(US Air Force,
emphasis added. Air University of the US Air Force, AF 2025 Final
Weather Warfare against "Rogue States"
The unusual climatic occurrences in the US and Western Europe have
been extensively documented.
However, what the news media has failed to underscore is that a
number of unusual and dramatic climatic changes have occurred in
recent years in countries which are identified as possible targets
under the US Administration's pre-emptive war doctrine.
Weather patterns in North Korea, for instance, have been marked
since the mid-1990s by a succession of droughts, followed by floods.
The result has been the destruction of an entire agricultural
system. In Cuba, the pattern is very similar to that observed in
North Korea. (see Table 3 below)
In Iraq, Iran and Syria, a devastating drought occurred in 1999. In
Afghanistan, four years of drought in the years preceding the US led
invasion in 2001, have led to the destruction of the peasant
economy, leading to widespread famine.
While there is no proof that these weather occurrences are the
result of climatic warfare, Phillips Geophysics Lab, which is a
partner in the HAARP project provides a course for military
personnel at the Hanscom Air Force Base in Maryland, on "Weather
Modification Techniques". The course outline explicitly
contemplates the triggering of storms, hurricanes, etc. for military
use. (See PDF File 'Weather
Modification - Advanced Weapon/Instrumentation Technologies')
Weather manipulation is the pre-emptive weapon par excellence.
can be directed against enemy countries or even "friendly nations",
without their knowledge. Weather warfare constitutes a covert form
of pre-emptive war. The manipulation of climate can be used to
destabilize an enemy's economy, ecosystem and agriculture (e.g.
North Korea or Cuba).
Needless to say it can trigger havoc in
financial and commodity markets and can potentially be used as an
instrument of "insider trade" for financial gain. It has the ability
of destabilizing a country's institutions. Concurrently, the
disruption in agriculture creates a greater dependency on food aid
and imported grain staples from the US and other Western countries.
The Bush administration has stated that it reserves the right to
attack these countries preemptively, with a view to ensuring the
security of the American homeland.
Washington - as part of its nuclear posture review - has threatened
several countries including China and Russia with pre-emptive
nuclear strikes. One would assume that the same targeting of rogue
states exists with regard to the use of weather modification
While there is no evidence of the use of weather warfare against
rogue states, the policy guidelines on "weather intervention
techniques" have already been established and the technology is
Unusual Weather Occurrences:
North Korea, Cuba, Afghanistan
Recurrent flooding and drought often in the same year has hit North
Korea since 1995, 220,000 people died in the ensuing famine,
according to Pyongyang's own figures. U.S. figures place the number
of deaths resulting from famine at 2 million.
The first major flooding occurred in 1995.
There were floods and drought in 1999. The serious water shortage
resulting from the 1999 drought was conducive to the destruction of
"The temperature of water in rice fields goes beyond 40 degrees and
the tall rice plants fresh from the rice seedling beds are
withering. In particular, nearly all after-crop maize seedlings and
seeds are perishing," it added.
In 2001, in June there was an extensive drought with rainfall just
10% of normal levels, which served to undermine agricultural crops.
And then a few months later, in October, there were extensive
floodings leading to the further destruction of rice harvests and a
crisis situation in food distribution.
"Officials in Kangwon province - an area which already suffers food
shortages - say the impact of the torrential rain and flooding has
been devastating. The normal recorded rainfall for October should be
around 20mm. But in the worst-affected areas 400mm (18 inches) of
rain fell in just 12 hours. "It was the worst flooding we've had
since records began in 1910," said Kim Song Hwan, head of the
government's Flood Damage Rehabilitation Committee for the region."
(BBC, 23 Oct 2001,
For several years Cuba has been affected by recurrent droughts. In
1998, rainfall in Eastern Cuba was at its lowest level since 1941.
A United Nations team estimated 539,000 people, 280,000 of them
farmers, were directly affected by reduced availability of food or
reduced income through production losses. Some reported effects are:
hunger in areas; a loss of up to 14% of the sugar cane crop planted
last year and a reduction in this spring's planted crops, since
rains were not sufficient for some seeds to germinate (which will
reduce next year's crop); as much as 42% losses in food staples such
as root vegetables, beans, bananas, and rice in the five eastern
provinces; and livestock, poultry, and egg production losses.
In 2003, a devastating drought hit the Western part of Cuba.
In 2004 May-June, the country is hit by the worst drought in its
"A severe drought enveloping eastern Cuba has eroded 40 percent of
the farmland, starved thousands of heads of cattle and has close to
4 million people counting every drop of water they consume."
drought is described as the worst in 40 years.
“The drought has robbed underground water levels of some 10 feet
over the past 10 years, leaving over 5,000 wells across the province
dry,” said Leandro Bermudez, a geologist and the second man at
Cuba’s National Institute of Hydraulic Resources.
(MSNBC, 21 June
The cities are running out of water. According to the Independent,
"Drought is bringing Cuba to its knees
Unnoticed by the world, the longest dry period for decades has
brought much of Cuba to its knees. Could this be the crisis that
finally destroys Fidel's revolution?
"All across central and eastern Cuba, farmers, ranchers, city
dwellers and government officials are scrambling to deal with a
punishing drought that began a decade ago and intensified in the
last two years.
Although traditionally arid, the provinces of Holguin, Camaguey and
Las Tunas hold some of Cuba's finest pasture and farmland and have
long been crucial to this communist nation's dairy, beef and
More than 12,500 cattle have died in Holguin alone in 2004 and milk
production has fallen 20 percent. The price of beans, plantains,
sweet potatoes and other staples has soared in private markets.
The drought has caused millions of dollars in losses and officials
are spending millions more digging wells, building a water pipeline
and taking other measures to try to ease the crisis - huge sums in
an impoverished nation struggling through tough economic times and a
battle with the United States.
Officials also have moved thousands of cattle to more fertile areas
and are working furiously to finish a 32-mile pipeline that will
draw water to Holguin city from Cuba's largest river, the Cauto. The
$5 million pipeline could be completed next month."
(Chicago Tribune, July
The above report date to September 2004, it was published before,
the hurricanes hit the Cuban coastline followed by torrential rains.
Afghanistan and The former Soviet Republics of Central Asia
The worst drought in Afghanistan history occurred in the three
consecutive years prior to the onslaught of the US led invasion,
from 1999 to 2001. The agricultural recovery of the 1990s, in the
wake of the Soviet-Afghan war was brought to a standstill.
In the wake of the US led 2001 invasion, the United States supplied
Afghanistan with genetically modified wheat and appropriate types of
fertilizer to be used with the GM wheat, which was said to be high
yield drought resistant. The donation of GM wheat, however, also led
to destabilizing the small peasant economy because the GM wheat
varieties could not reproduced locally. In 2002, famines which were
barely reported by the media, swept the country.
Similar although less severe conditions prevailed in the former
Soviet republics of Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan,
Turkmenistan, and Uzbekistan.
Like Afghanistan, Tajikistan has had its infrastructure ruined by
prolonged civil war with Muslim fundamentalists. Since then, the
worst regional drought in 74 years has destroyed food crops over a
large part of the nation, rendering almost half of the 6.2 million
people in the country vulnerable to the threat of famine and
disease, up from 3 million last year. About the only portion of the
economy that has been unaffected is the drug trade.
the transit route for 65 to 85 percent of heroin smuggled out of
Afghanistan, the world’s largest producer.
Triggered by the lowest rainfall (2001) in living memory, vast
tracts of Iran, Uzbekistan, Pakistan and Tajikistan are being
reduced to desert as the water table sinks, long-established wells
dry up and herds of livestock perish.
The crisis appears to fulfill alarming climate change predictions
suggesting that states along the old Silk Road will experience
steeper rises in temperature than any other region on earth. By the
end of the century it will be 5C hotter in an area which regularly
sees the thermometer soar above 40C.
The study, published last year by the Tyndall Centre for Climate
Change Research at the University of East Anglia, predicted that
Asian countries from Kazakhstan to Saudi Arabia will warm up more
than twice as much as others. "Several states," the report added,
"including Uzbekistan, Tajikistan, Afghanistan and Iran, [are
In Tajikistan, the United Nations appealed for aid to avert
disaster. "Substantial foreign aid is needed or else there will be a
large-scale famine," said Matthew Kahane, the UN's humanitarian aid
coordinator, speaking from the capital, Dushanbe.
"The country has had its lowest rainfall for 75 years. Families who
survived last year by selling their cows and chickens now have no
other means of coping. Some households have sold the glass out of
their windows and the wooden beams from their roofs to raise money
(The Guardian, 0ct 30, 2001,
In 1999, Iraq suffered its worst drought of the century, with the
effect of triggering an even greater dependence on imported grain
under the oil for food program. There was a drop of up to 70 percent
in domestic yields of wheat, barley and other cereals, which served
to further weaken the country's economy, crippled by economic
sanctions and the routine bombing by allied aircraft in the no-fly
A similar (although less serious) situation prevailed in Syria and
Iran, marked by significant declines in agricultural output.