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Unexploded ordnance

  1. Oct 6, 2008 #1
    I was just watching Anthony Bourdain, no reservations in Loas. They were showing landmines being exploded by the army that were left behind by the US forces that kill and maimed people every year. Most of these people are not old enough to have been in the war at the time.

    As Americans, I think we are responsible for going to, and cleaning up every single (or as many as we can find) landmines we littered around the world.

    Why are we not taking any initiative and setting a worldwide standard of excellence for other countries to follow suit?

    It would be hypocritical to complain about WMDs to the world, meanwhile we *are* responsible for innocent people being killed due to our own past wars.
     
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  3. Oct 6, 2008 #2

    Gokul43201

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    Re: Landmines

    [somewhat off-topic diversion]

    Cyrus, you should watch Turtles can Fly, if you haven't already.
     
  4. Oct 6, 2008 #3

    mgb_phys

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    Re: Landmines

    Generally the losing side get to clear up the mines.

    German veterans are currently trying to sue the French goverment for using POWs to clear mines fields after WWII, predictably the casualty rate was rather high.
     
  5. Oct 6, 2008 #4
    Re: Landmines

    That may be the case. But the person who put them there are responsible for clearing them.

    Anyone who uses landmines does so by choice. Frankly, they should be internationally banned as a weapon. They probably do more harm to innocent people than against actual troops.

    In my mind, they are wmds. When you can't even walk down the road for fear of being blown up, something is wrong.
     
  6. Oct 6, 2008 #5

    mgb_phys

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  7. Oct 6, 2008 #6

    Astronuc

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    Re: Landmines

    Absolutely! And one can add cluster bomblets and DU to the list of stuff that must be cleaned up to make the environment safe for human habitation.

    International Campaign to Ban Landmines
    http://www.icbl.org/
    Help Ban Cluster Bombs Now! Sign the People's Treaty
    Countries not signing the treaty, ostensibly because they plan to use landmines. Small countries would probably use them defensively, whereas the large countries would more likely use them as part of aggressive military campaign.
    Armenia
    Azerbaijan
    Bahrain
    Burma
    China
    Cuba
    Egypt
    Finland
    Georgia
    India
    Iran
    Israel
    Kazakhstan
    Korea, North
    Korea, South
    Kyrgyzstan
    Lao PDR
    Lebanon
    Libya
    Marshall Islands
    Micronesia
    Mongolia
    Morocco
    Nepal
    Oman
    Pakistan
    Poland
    Russian Federation
    Saudi Arabia
    Singapore
    Somalia
    Sri Lanka
    Syria
    Tonga
    Tuvalu
    United Arab Emirates
    United States
    Uzbekistan
    Vietnam
     
  8. Oct 6, 2008 #7
    Re: Landmines

    Exactly what purpose does the US have for using landmines?

    We use drones and electronic devices to monitor boarder areas for extended periods of time. There really is no need to be using landmines anymore.

    If someone is crossing, you want to capture them an interrogate them. They do you no good blown to a million pieces.
     
  9. Oct 6, 2008 #8

    turbo

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    Re: Landmines

    Cluster munitions are designed to create as many wounded civilian and military personnel as possible, to tie up the resources of the enemy. They are the gift that keeps on giving, long after any particular conflict is over, and they are an abomination.

    The production and use of such munitions should be outlawed world-wide, and the leaders of countries using them should be pursued as war criminals.
     
  10. Oct 6, 2008 #9

    Astronuc

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    Re: Landmines

    To kill people. The US has reserved the right to use landmines, and cluster bombs, and DU. And not necessarily clean up afterward.

    The Bush administration has violated the Geneva convention in Iraq and probably in Afghanistan. The secret rendition program is illegal, but the only way to enforce international law is to have equal power.
     
  11. Oct 6, 2008 #10

    mgb_phys

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    Re: Landmines

    Charitable view - if you start letting the politicians set rules for the army soon they will ban torture, imprisonment, nukes etc and then were will you be.

    Cynical view - the nice thing about cluster munitions, mines and DU is that it doesn't just get rid of your current enemies. It makes sure the next generation are no trouble either.
     
  12. Oct 6, 2008 #11
    Re: Landmines

    So I'm watching the show, and here is this poor pesant farmer in Loas with one arm and one leg because of a landmine made in the USA.

    Anthony asked the man if he was mad at the US for being blown up and he said 'yes'. If I could get blown up walking around my own house thanks to a vietnamese landmine, I wouldn't care much for the vietnamese either.

    I'm not sure how many landmines we have around the world. I would guess a lot in Vietnam, Loas. Are we putting any down in Iraq?

    I know we are still funding landmine development because I saw on tv a 'smart' landmine that detects what is approaching it: vehicle, people, etc and flings a charge at the approaching target depending on what type of target it is. It's supposed to have GPS so you can remove it after the conflict.

    If there was accountability for landmines, that would be a different story. If a country were to place x number of landmines and were required to keep track of how many exploded and how many were left, and then remove the remainder after the war. It wouldn't be as much of an issue. But most countries would lie and say they took them all away when in fact they did not.
     
    Last edited: Oct 6, 2008
  13. Oct 6, 2008 #12
    Re: Landmines

    Igonrant view: above. No offense, both viewpoints you presented are pretty stupid and thoughtless.

    I know that they are probably not what you personally are saying, you're just making a statement. But face it, it's dumb.

    I don't think anyone would explain to a child why they have one arm or leg using the reasoning you provided.
     
  14. Oct 6, 2008 #13
    Re: Landmines

    There needs to be more funding in Top Universities in developing Robotics Technology to detect and kill landmines that can be cheap and affordable for Third world nations.

    Its not like we don't have the technology available and the brain power to develop them, its the lack of will to do so.

    Gryphon Landmine Detector built from Tokyo Institute of Technology:
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Sep 25, 2014
  15. Oct 6, 2008 #14

    Evo

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  16. Oct 6, 2008 #15

    mgb_phys

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    Re: Landmines

    I'm sure both viewpoints are top of the powerpoint presentation for their respective generals.

    According to the UN in 2006 a certain country in the middle east dropped 350,000 cluster bombs on civilian areas of lebanon in the last 48-72hours of the conflict, while peace negotiations were being finalised. The UN estimates that 30% didn't explode - it's report finds it hard to believe that this wan't a deliberate part of their design.
    The land mine action program claim that the cost of clearing each hectare of farmland is around 2x annual income, so even if the plan wasn't to kill people it has succeded in causing a famine.

    I suspect that any US military objections to a treaty are more about a slippery slope to more stringent civilian oversight than their tactical need for minefields.
    General Schwarzkopf called for the banning of landmines after gulf war I - based on how easily Iraqi mines had been cleared by US tanks he didn't think they had any military value. This might have been biased by his personal experiences in Vietnam.
     
    Last edited: Oct 6, 2008
  17. Oct 6, 2008 #16
    Re: Landmines

    Here is the episode in question:

     
    Last edited by a moderator: Sep 25, 2014
  18. Oct 6, 2008 #17

    Evo

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    Last edited by a moderator: Sep 25, 2014
  19. Oct 6, 2008 #18
  20. Oct 7, 2008 #19

    russ_watters

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    Re: Landmines

    There are a number of different types of land mines, some anti-personnel, anti-vehicle, and anti-armor, anti-aircraft, etc. They are used (not as much anymore, but still used) because they are highly effective for certain tasks.
    Not true. Unless the person approaching your position is buck naked, it is very difficult, if not impossible to gage their threat level. Knowing this, insurgents in Iraq would probe American defenses by sending civilians toward them, knowing in many cases they had to be shot rather than risk capturing someone with 20lb of C4 taped to their chest.
     
  21. Oct 7, 2008 #20

    Evo

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    They aren't landmines, they're unexploded bombs, Cyrus was confused.

    I give up. Nobody reads my posts.
     
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