# Should the U.S. ban the use of land mines?

Discussion in 'World Events' started by ISDAMan, Dec 16, 1999.

1. ### ISDAManThank You Jesus!Registered Senior Member

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Should the U.S. ban the use of land mines?

I'd like to know what you all think. Does it make a difference if they are used offensively or defensively? Yes, some mines do have offensive capabilities. I'm for the little buggers (with reasonable deployment). I'll spare you the tactical muttering of a blood and guts former U.S. Marine until after you've had your good say.

God Bless America,
ISDAMan

3. ### TiassaLet us not launch the boat ...Staff Member

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37,316
My biggest consideration regarding land mines is that they simply are unnecessary. The world has gathered before and agreed to ban certain weapons and chemical agents previously used in warfare on the grounds that these things were simply too cruel to employ in a fight over principles.

Since Reagan, at least, I've heard stories about the terrible weapons hidden in the United States' secret arsenal. From the days of satellites that could read your license plate, or hit a ball-point pen with a laser, I now hear of over-the-horizon radar and atmospheric manipulation. Our fighter jets, in 1987 or so, engaged the Libyans from 23 miles away, and destroyed them.

Given American firepower, strategy, and numbers, it almost seems absurd to use something like a land-mine, so restricted in its role.

When your best weapons are rifles, jellied gasoline, and machine guns on airplanes, then land-mines present a good local-defense option. But the age of this defense is behind us in the United States.

And so I think that yes, Americans should agree to a conventional ban on land mines.

thanx,
Tiassa

------------------
"Religion isn't dead either. The AntiChrist will have access to computers, television, radio, and compact disc. If he walks among us already, the chances are that he has a walkman. I just hope it's not Christ himself, disillusioned after two thousand years in a cosmic sitting room full of magazines and cheeseplants, turned malignant and rotting in despair at the way his message has been perverted." (Robyn Hitchcock, 11/1987)

5. ### 666Registered Senior Member

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378
ISDAMan,

I am against anti-personal land mines. Thses land mines are not intended to kill but maime and they have maimed more civilans the soldiers. Ati-tank mines can not be set off by a person steping on them and kept to thier original role.

7. ### Fukushi-meta consciousness-Registered Senior Member

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1,231
Land mines should be banned, in fact, everybody that deploys them, or even thinks that this is a good idear should step on one themselves.

When they have a amputated limb and maybe a prothese, then they should be allowed to vote again.

8. ### S.A.M.uniquely dreadfulValued Senior Member

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Agreed. They may volunteer their children as proxies since children are the most common victims of landmines.

Graphic image not for sissies
http://www.rawa.org/child1.jpg

De-mining
http://www.mineaction.org/org.asp?o=3

Countries with landmines
http://www.mineaction.org/countries.asp

Last edited: Aug 14, 2009
9. ### BenTheManDr. of Physics, Prof. of LoveValued Senior Member

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How do you define land mine''?

I looks like there is already a policy regarding persistent'' land mines, presumably those which can stay undetonated indefinitely:

http://www.state.gov/t/pm/wra/c11735.htm

10. ### BenTheManDr. of Physics, Prof. of LoveValued Senior Member

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But, would you not agree, that there are situations where such devices actually ARE useful?

11. ### TiassaLet us not launch the boat ...Staff Member

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Theoretically ....

Wwwwow. Forgive the pun, but talk about a blast from the past.

Theoretically there are still uses for such devices, but Americans especially have better toys. Hell, I can find a theoretic justification for chemical warfare. Doesn't make it right, though.

And that's the thing with land mines, and wars in general. Whatever happened to cleaning up after our own messes? We left a bunch of DU in Iraq after the first go-round, and while people still argue that the coincidental health problems in some regions are either purely coincidental or the result of the oil fires (blame it on Saddam, if we can), we certainly didn't attend to the issue by attempting a cleanup.

One easily accessible estimate puts the number at 110 million unexploded land mines around the world. This is a huge mess sewn by many people that is still waiting to be cleaned up. I can't figure, with our sexy exploding toy chest, why Americans should add to the disaster.
_____________________

Notes:

12. ### iceauraValued Senior Member

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They don't quit when the war's over. Anything that doesn't quit when the war's over is dubious at best.

They blow up too many farm animals and little kids. They don't target enemy. They are irresponsible - far more of an essentially terroristic weapon than, say, the IEDs in Iraq.

They create too many discouraging scenes that lead to shame and guilt and loss of pride in one's country - like finding out the US blockaded prosthetic limbs and mine detection technology from both Vietnam and Nicaragua, during the aftermath phase of little kids getting blown up.

13. ### spidergoatLiddle' Dick TaterValued Senior Member

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They should make ones that can be easily disarmed by remote control (with the correct codes).

14. ### DywyddyrPenguinaciously duckalicious.Valued Senior Member

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Which would still leave large quantities of explosives laying about.
And a good number (most? all?) of explosive compounds become unstable after long periods anyway.

15. ### spidergoatLiddle' Dick TaterValued Senior Member

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Then exploded by remote control.

16. ### DywyddyrPenguinaciously duckalicious.Valued Senior Member

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Been tried. (Or at least they've tried self-detonating ones: after a set period they (supposedly) self-destruct).
The failure rate is unacceptable.
There's always a percentage that don't go off, and another percentage that do go off, but not at the time they're supposed to.

17. ### quadraphonicsBloodthirsty BarbarianValued Senior Member

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My understanding is that the US has already stopped using non-self-destructing mines everywhere outside of Korea. And, likewise, has ceased using mines entirely in many areas they used to (Guantanamo, for example).

In my understanding, US objections to the Ottawa treaty are almost exclusively related to Korea; successive governments have at least claimed to be happy with the terms of the treaty in general, except they want an exception made for Korea.

So it seems the question here is not whether landmines are required in general (the US doesn't appear to think they are), but whether there's some compelling need for them in Korea in particular. I'm not expert enough in military strategy to say, and I've heard arguments both ways, but it seems to me that this is the actual relevant technical question here.

And we should note that several other important countries have not signed up for this treaty: India, China, Russia, Iran, Poland, Finland, Pakistan and Cuba being interesting examples. Also note that the treaty covers only anti-personnel mines; other types are not affected.

18. ### GeoffPCaput gerat lupinumValued Senior Member

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Tiassa's sort of half-right here: mines are unnecessary in numerous 'modern' applications. Most of what catches the public eye these days is terrorist-baiting, so it's all too easy for the uninformed to forget the major conflicts that have any potential to start up: Korea is one such; Western Germany in the 'good old days' of Fulda Gap Forvartsteidigung (or whatever the term was) another. They have their uses in specific circumstances. But generally? No. These days, their useful application is essentially limited to South Korea. Perhaps this too will change.

19. ### Challenger78Valued Senior Member

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Landmines are not discriminatory between Civilians and combatants. Therefore, morally on an equal footing with cluster bombs, and indiscriminate bombing. Plus, they're easy to plant, but no one really bothers to remove them afterwards.

20. ### DywyddyrPenguinaciously duckalicious.Valued Senior Member

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Not quite: cluster weapons are generally aimed directly at military targets - civilians get caught as (here we go again) collateral.
Mines don't (by nature, unless we're talking about such things as command-detonated weapons) discriminate at all - they'll explode whenever anything off the set weight limit passes over them.
For the ultimate in non-discriminatory maybe the British chicken-"powered" Blue Peacock system is tops...

Not really (apart from FASCAM-type systems), to plant mines you need trained engineers/ sappers or very expensive vehicles.

21. ### superstring01Moderator

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12,110
I have no issue with the USA using landmines in the USA. We have ourselves to blame if something goes wrong. I'm not sure what the mine fields in Korea prevent that the thousands of soldiers, hundreds of jets, missiles, howitzers and tanks all augmented by numerous submarines, destroyers as well as nuke-yoo-lar, biological and chemical weapons don't already take care of. But sure, why not de-mine the entire area.

~String

22. ### KilljoyPropelling The Farce!!Valued Senior Member

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You mean such as for border security ?

Too random.

Better to use robot machine gun turrets, IMHO.
(South Korean design, ironically. heh )

This:

23. ### S.A.M.uniquely dreadfulValued Senior Member

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Huh? For what?