Land Mine Ban 10 years on Am I the only one who wants them

Discussion in 'Current Affairs, News and Analysis' started by socialhandgrenade247, Jul 30, 2007.

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  1. Just saw this link on the BBC

    http://news.bbc.co.uk/onthisday/hi/dates/stories/july/31/newsid_2491000/2491991.stm

    10 Years ago we agreed to a land mine ban and Defence Secretary George Robertson said: "The most professional army in the world now has said that this is not a system that is morally correct or militarily useful."

    Now lots of us disagree with Mr Robertson on lots of points what are fellow Arrse members views. If I was dug in would like a few landmines some low tangle wire all covered by fire in front of me am I morally wrong?
     
  2. Not morally wrong, at all. The main argument I recall being used was the lack of control we'd have over these things if we had to bug out. They deny ground very effectively, but can't tell civvy from military, friend from foe, combatant from livestock, etc. Useful weapons, but indiscriminate.

    We should be able to use them with the same conditions attached to any other weapon system we deploy.
     
  3. No,

    but with Mr Robertson's extensive experience of soldiering he probably knows better.

    As you can see he is a very experienced man in then defence business and has really lived in the real world.
    http://www.nato.int/cv/secgen/robert-e.htm
     
  4. As a UK civvie, I am a touch concerned about all the PC/environmental crap hampering our armed forces. There is a time and place for being 'nice', war is not one of those times. that said, I would suggest that if surface mines are legal, there should be strict controls on their use. Inbuilt timers to deactivation for example.

    Ski.
     
  5. It was an appalling piece of publicity-driven, idiocy brought about in part by Blair's selfish need to feel good about himself and partly by that half-wit clothes horse Diana Spencer's naivete.

    I remember remarking at the time that if I ever found myself in a fire trench for real, I would want more than a few strands of barbed wire between me and the bad guys.

    It's just another example of what happens when military policy is set by politicians with neither experience of military matters nor interest in them.
     
  6. I don't think any one has ever denied the military utility of land mines. The problem is that even those deployed for good military reasons are difficult to clear up after the need has gone, and equally they are often used to terrorise civilian populations which is morally wrong.

    I do think that for any government the choice is difficult, because quite clearly not using them does expose ones own forces to greater danger, but using them does expose civilians to greater danger and in the present moral climate then I think rightly or wrongly the civilians take priority.
     
  7. I'd be interested to know when the last British deployment of mines happened (not including Claymore type defences). Korea?
     
  8. What is morally wrong is denying your soldiers an effective tool... not that this Robertson charictor knows a damned thing about conducting such things as a deliberate defence or an anti-armor ambush of course, his bio distinctly lacks any experience in uniform.

    Smartascarrots does have a point concerning the indescriminate nature of mines... something which our DARPA has been looking at closely to remedy with some measure of success as you can see below...

    http://www.darpa.gov/sto/smallunitops/shm/proginfo.html

    Personally, I am very glad my nation didn't sign on to the stupidity. Would hate to imagine any scenario in Korea for example which the use of mines was denied.
     
  9. I share this viewpoint and would add whereas 'our' use of mines are emphatically mapped and generally accountable, several nations (to be non-specific) have 'seeded' the ground with these items from helicopters.

    Another dimension is the Far East experience where monsoon climates have caused the ground to break up and the mines to shift. In many instances the lightweight plastic bodied anti-personnel versions have been found hundreds of meters from their 'original' location.
     
  10. Biped

    Biped LE Book Reviewer

    It would not be rocket science to have an encrypted radio comms system in mines so that they could be remotely deactivated, either by a bugging out unit or from the air.

    It would make a very useful tool have a lot more validity in this PC climate.
     
  11. Some of that is due to villagers’ digging them up and using them as security around their villages this is a major problem in Cambodia and Laos.

    The idea of mines that only have a short life span is worth thinking of.

    At the moment HM forces are involved in Afghanistan where many Soviet landmines were indiscriminately dropped. I must admit I remember thinking during troop leaders 1991 when learning about soviet mines that thank god we will never go there!!!

    I agree landmines are a hazard, but most conflicts where we look like that we may get involved with do not have governments that would ratify (or be fully in control of areas so landmines will be used against us.
     
  12. At the risk of seeming too tree-hugger, until I'm given an example in the last 40 years where British Army operations would've been compromised had it not been for use of landmines, I remain to be convinced of the need for them.

    Donning kevlar prior to the inevitable incoming.
     
  13. Probably so, I'm not technically qualified to comment. The issue, I don't believe lies with us.
    The 3rd. World generation of militias are the problem.
    We have merely picked up the 'conscience' of landmine use and in a traditional 'Brit' manner appear to have adopted this International problem as ours.
    I cannot envisage the Mozambiquan, Angolan, Moroccan, Croats or such investing in the tech requirements as you suggest.
     
  14. msr

    msr LE