Every time one crosses the border between Kuwait and Iraq, one crosses 2 trenches that stretch as far as the eye can see, about 20 feet across and 20 feet deep.Here I am standing on the Iraqi side. The camera is facing South toward the border town of Safwan. The location is US Army Main Supply Route Tampa that runs parallel to and north of the main road that runs through Safwan.
You can see that lots of trash that blows across the sabkha ends up in the trench. If anything interesting survives, this will be an interesting excavation site for some archeologist centuries from now. You can also see that the dirt excavated from the trench was put on the Kuwaiti side of the trench.
Why the trench? I have been told that the Iraqi government plan was to fill this with oil and set it ablaze, so as to prevent or deter a ground assault. I’m not sure when they were dug, but it certainly is a good example of government waste.
I’m no military strategist, but if you were attacking from the Kuwaiti side, it seems that the choice of putting the excavated dirt on that side is a bad one. Firstly, it creates a nice shield from any radiation from the fiery trench. Secondly, it is a convenient source of earth that one can move with buldozers into the trench, thereby creating a land bridge.