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Discussion in 'Off-Topic' started by Nastie_Bowie, Mar 20, 2004.
America, land mine humanitarian leader
This little tidbit surprised me.
PRAVDA, the truth
Yeah... I must say, IÂ´m a bit surprised too. Nice :thumbsup:
I, too, am surprised. This is good to hear
That's not overly surprising I don't think. We'd be the ones with the most to lose with persistent undetectable anti-vehicle mines on the field. This holds particularly true when we're the away team, having supply lines and routes to constantly move across while the enemy can remain largely stationary. We dominate sea and air and if the ground fight is contained to vehicle on vehicle and conventional firepower, we'd dominate that as well. It's a humanitarian and practical matter rolled into one.
A few points to note:
Anti-vehicle land mines are designed to explode only when triggered by something of sufficient weights presses on it (read: not a human). While they do remain active after the war time ends, they cannot be triggered by a lone person walking along and accidentally stepping on it. It can, of course, be triggered by a civilian vehicle rolling across it. That's not an argument for either side, just a note of clarification.
Secondly, smart mines, the type that disengage after a certain period of time, are much more costly to make, and come in two varieties. One disengages and simply becomes inactive. The other explodes one its time limit is up. It's obviously inactive after that, but it's explosion is timed upon it's placement, and won't react to what is in the area when it times out. Obviously the choice is to make only smart mines that simply shut off, but the matter of cost comes into play again.
Thirdly, barring all mines except for smart mines is not the easy solution it appears to be because it will only encourage further use of any type of mine in lesser-developed countries. Banning all mines will require poorer nations to follow the same standards, but they are much more likely to disobey regulations if the only mines they can afford are the ones that are not allowed. In other words, banning all mines stops mine use. Banning non-smart mines will only apply to industrialized countries because poorer nations will disobey and claim unfairness because of the comparitive wealth. That does not mean I agree, just that it's an argument.
Fourthly, many proponents of smart mine legislation require an exception to be made in terms of the Korean border. Because the demilitarized zone has been active for so long, people feel that non-smart mines are just as necessary, and more cost-effective, because they will stay in use for long after a smart mine's normal time period. Also, the use of mines along the Korean border allows the United States to station fewer troops in Korea because the mines act as an additional layer of defense, should the North Koreans decide to invade.
This is just additional information from both sides, so don't assume that I'm coming down on either stance. I'm simply pointing out that just because the Bush administration is in favor of smart mines, that does NOT mean that they will not try to make an exception for the Korean case, or that they are doing the humanitarian thing.