You’ve no doubt seen the Fake News reports that President Trump intends to put landmines virtually everywhere. Guess what? It’s not true — exactly.
This is partially, no doubt, a response to Obama’s unilateral decision to ban certain classes of landmines.
The U.S. never signed the international treaty banning such weapons in part because Washington has always allowed the use of mines on the Korean Peninsula. The Obama administration’s decision in 2014 was an attempt to comply with the spirit of that treaty, known as the Ottawa Convention, officials and experts said, while allowing the use of mines on the Korean Peninsula.
Landmines are designed to kill people and break things which puts them in the “not very nice” category. They force an enemy to slow down and perhaps change direction when it encounters a minefield.
With the Obama decision, what does an enemy know when moving forward? Yep, no landlines to worry about! Put the pedal to the metal.
As President Trump has explained over and over, we are not going to telegraph what we intend to do in advance and we will use whatever weapons are the most appropriate. And that includes landmines.
Landmines use shouldn’t be decided by politicians but by those whose responsibility is to win battles with the the minimum number of U.S. casualties.
Another tidbit is that the military has been developing “smart mines” for a long time. These mines either self destruct or deactivate after a period of time to reduce noncombatant injuries.
All landmines in DOD’s operational inventory have safety features to limit unintended harm to non-combatants. There are no persistent landmines in the U.S. operational inventory; the new policy does not change this.
So how good are these “smart mines?”
Reliability of self-destruct and self-deactivate safety features in the current inventory is very high: there is only a 6 in 1 million chance of a U.S. landmine being active after a pre-determined period.
Don’t you just hate the Fake News? President Trump continues to reverse the damage done by President Obama to the military. Everyone understands that old style mines can have horrible consequences when found by children after a war; we all get that. However, the President and the military have done exactly the right thing for the the right reasons. I’m sure the Fake News will get around to doing the 20 minutes of research I did. Or not.