While wars have always adversely impacted the built environment, their effects during the last two centuries have been the most destructive. Damage to archeological findings, buildings, cities and regions have been more extensive in recent history. Furthermore, wars are increasingly fought on the soils of economically deprived nations adding to the magnitude of their socioeconomic miseries. The enormous difference which exists between the destructive capability of modern weaponry and the healing capacity of traditional environments has made the problem more acute. The end result has been irreparable damages to landscapes and builtscapes ranging from loss of artifacts to changes in the ecology of a region. From Kampuchea to Iraq, from Afghanistan to El Salvador, cities and villages throughout the underdeveloped world are torn up disrupting the healthy process of environmental growth and leaving millions homeless, not to mention the loss of human life. This has led to widespread growth of refugee camps •and the emergence of new forms of spontaneous developments bringing about new challenges for addressing the issue of mass housing and settlement form. The problem of refugee settlements caused by armed conflict and its impact, in turn, on the delicate balance of the invaded regions is the ever increasing environmental problem of this century and the next. This paper explores the effects of armed conflict and its consequential forced transformation of ethnoscapes, landscapes and builtscapes. Unlike the gradual transformation which happens under a process of adaptation and regeneration, war damages are abrupt and devastative affecting the entire process of urbanization and social change. The mushrooming refugee camps, their uncertain situation and yet their metamorphosis into permanency, is a challenging issue facing architects, planners and environmental scientists. Its complexity requires new outlooks and methodologies in dealing with urbanization and settlement issues. In a certain way, it may even redefine the ethical responsibilities of the professional. The paper will specifically look into the environmental effects of the fifteen-year-old foreign invasion and civil war in Afghanistan, familiar to the author, and will draw lessons from the catastrophe about the broader issues of environments plagued by war and the implications such issues will have for responsible professional practice. It will study the phenomenon of displacement and its impact on the process of urbanization which can lead to a different analysis of the metamorphosis of the builtscape in these extraordinary conditions that are increasingly becoming pervasive. It will investigate the pragmatic and theoretical implications of a living and working environment increasingly subjected to war, and the role of participants engaged in the design and planning process, including issues of urban growth, architectural transformation, and historic preservation.