Previously we've written alot on demining activities (1,2,3,4). As you might guess we are not a big fan of anything whose aim is to maim and kill and have highlighted many ways to eradicate the world of these anonymous terrorists.
I was a little dismayed when Human Rights Watch released a briefing paper this morning after it was announced that the administration will decide to fund and restart US landmine production.
Since 2000 the US army has spent $135 Million to hire Textron Systems Corporation and Alliant Techsystems (developers of NASA's solar sail and the sole supplier of bullets to the US Army) to research and develop a 'friendly' antipersonnel mine system codenamed Spider. The system is a control unit that monitors and controls 84 mines connected by a web of tripwires. If given the greenlight a further $400M of tax dollars will be spent on producing 1,620 Spider syatems and 186,000 munitions.
Additionally the Pentagon has requested a total of $1.3 billion for development and production activities for another new antipersonnel mine called the Intelligent Munitions System (by General Dynamics), with a decision on production expected in 2008.
This movement towards reintroducing 'smart mine' weaponry is alarming to say the least and that I can only hope that those 'on the hill' will take the high road and reject any bill to continue the contries legacy of landmine use.
Heh the us military always knew that nothing replaces mines for what mines do. Its not that the us realy wants to use em its just that in current warfare we dont quite yet have the ability to do what a mine does so well and so cheaply any other way... Oh and that is kill people you dont even know are there...