Agent Orange

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Agent Orange

Agent Orange was a powerful, highly effective and enduring herbicide that was used by the United States military during the Vietnam War to eliminate the foliage-based cover used by enemy forces and ultimately deny them one of their primary means of sustenance – food produced by their terrain-intensive farming. Even though Agent Orange was authorized and utilized by the U.S. military, it had unintended consequences with long lasting global health and environmental effects that highlight its place in modern history.

Although modern research has retroactively connected the use of Agent Orange to profound as well as long-lasting negative health effects for people and the environment, this environmentally hazardous herbicide was endorsed by much of the world in the mid-twentieth century when manufactured instigated agricultural advances and usage of synthetic, industrial chemicals were a mainstay of technological progress. Manufactured using dioxin – a derivative of coal tar and commonly considered as environmentally and humanly unsafe chemical, Agent Orange instantly became known for its devastating ability to defoliate wide swaths of land and erase natural resources such as food rapidly and effectively. Utilized by developed countries, including the United States, in its geostrategic operations, the use of Agent Orange reached its zenith during the Vietnam war, when it was used extensively in its efforts to destabilize Chinese territories.

At first, the results of the onslaught were seen as largely successful; in its onslaught over enemy targets, the usage of Agent Orange was seen to successfully eliminate numerous sources of vegetation from the landscape rapidly- replacing them while decimating enemy food crops in large estates. Nevertheless, somewhere in search of effective strategy, the U.S. overlooked the fact that a de-vegetated desertified land is arguably much easier to navigate than a functioning, robustly healthy terrain full of vegetation – this made it greatly easier for the people on the ground to maneuver – along with providing enemy forces with many more natural resources with which to construct and sustain their own infrastructure.

Moreover, the effect of Agent Orange on the lives of Vietnamese, planted marked upon its toxic legacy. Being mostly herbivore and carnivorous animals, the sufferers of Agent Orange were by no means limited to individuals. Many livestock as well as wild animals were affected by inflammatory disorders, irregular behaviors, tumors, obstruction in suckling and nurturing growth issues. Such prevalence of unwanted growth in animals has been labeled as Agent Orange Syndrome and shed further light on the sorrowful fate of Vietnam after the Vietnam War, and represents the agonizing reality of those whom namely war and violence affect foremost.

In the years that have passed since the 1970’s when the use of Agent Orange ceased, the severe repercussions of its use have been increasingly recognized far and wide. In the United States alone, tensions over war-based payouts have lurched to the surface on numerous occasions, even as numerous individuals have come forward to request for compensation from the government. Similarly, presently, numerous studies and campaigns are being conducted in other territories to console and topically support victims of Agent Orange, while the Agent Orange Justice Tour – funded by the U.S. government to great long-term evaluation and assessment of herbicide-based contamination levels in Vietnam – provides much needed relief to thousands of individuals every year.

At the close of a prolonged chapter in history, it is essential to reflect on the true costs of Agent Orange and its continuing chemical footprints. Even though its initial intention is seen to have ultimately proven physically unsuccessful, it has left behind an ominous legacy of detrimental health effects for soldiers as well as civilians – which, even in the wake of its termination five decades ago, ought to still be embraced with attention and care. Evidently, Agent Orange serves as a prime example of how a hastily manufactured agricultural solution can come to cite pressing global health concerns which even research and technology cannot unduly undo.