Military operations in the hot desert environment
Published:January 01, 2014
Arid regions present formidable challenges to the conduct of contemporary military operations. Fundamental geographic factors such as radiation balance, wind and dust, and unique terrain have affected the outcome of desert campaigns and battles throughout history. While the scientific community understands desert geography, the fundamental effects of environmental factors on military operations are rarely well known or understood. Some level of understanding is necessary to provide context for researchers solving military problems. The purpose of this paper is to offer a military context for the work in this volume. This study provides a brief summary of the influences selected environmental factors may have on modern military forces operating in hot desert environments. In particular, this research examines the effects of unique desert terrain, aeolian processes and dust, and radiation balance with regard to troops, equipment, and tactics; historical and modern examples illustrate these effects.
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Military Geosciences in the Twenty-First Century
Military geosciences are concerned with using the broad scope of the earth sciences for military purposes. These purposes range from direct support for military operations to a broad spectrum of non-combat military activities and military land management applications. Historically, the focus has been on geology and geography, but other earth science disciplines such as geophysics, remote sensing, and geocomputation have become increasingly important as a consequence of technological progress made during the final decades of the twentieth century. The eighteen chapters in this volume address the critical aspects of the role of geosciences in military undertakings by focusing on historical perspectives, geoscience for military operations, and military environmental stewardship.