Just wondering about what everyone thought about the employment of a FASCAM (family of scatterable mines). Personally, I think its a great tool for a commander to have in his bag of tricks. Anyone else's thoughts?
Well, it aint exactly news. They've been around for a few years now. Personally, I dont like em. The reason is, that it is easally to "loose" controle over them. The commander can send then away in any given direction, and suddenly they forget to registrer were the pay load went. That because they might getting attacked themselves or simply forgetting. Yes, I know there are supposed to be routines for stuff like this. I am an old engineer soldier myself, and know the game in laying mine-fields and the registration of them. And then there is the "blind" trust of such equipent. I know that they can be set to hours and days. Even more easier to forget them. Knowing that in a container of BLU-97, it is up to 30 % of them that doesnt set of as intended. You have the danger of premature detonation. Wrongly information as an example, as if a, lets say battalion has been given info that the mine-field that was there has been destructed, and walk in that area. And find out that this is not correct. I am not saying this as an expert on the field, this is mearly my own personal feeling toward this. Hope u understand? And then in the era of modern battle. Today the war is more fluid. If a mine field has been set to be thgere for 15 days, the war itself could have been long gone. Moved to another place, and civilians enter the area. I know this is a problem also with conventional mine fields, but they r normally marked, and fenced. NORMALLY. These scattered onces aint. They r also much more sensitive and goes of easier. You dont even have to step on it. Or drive over it. Many of these little charmers has treads or goers of by movement made several feets away. Hell, you even have helicopter mines these days. hehe, a mounstrous little bugger I can tell you. No Apache-pilot want to see that one jump up in front of him. Well, thats my 3 cents on that issue. P.S! Good to see other that have mines as an interest in here. Cause u do?...dont you?
To be frank... I absolutely HATE landmines of any kind. That includes even modern ones, that switch themselves of. When they are lying theer for days, there is always the chance of someone innocent stepping on these devilish things... and there is alway the one mine in which the self destruct does not work properly. To step on one and to be mutilated for the rest of my life was alway a personal nightmare of mine, and since seeing personally little children in afghanisthan, who lost one or two legs because of them, I like them even less.
I personally think, that they should be banned... treated similar to weapons of mass-destruction. No trading with them. Especially no selling to nations with non democratic governments. Civilized nations should use them... VERY reluctantly, if at all.
Sorry... but concerning mines... my mind is made up. And I think anyone shares it... once a landmine has ripped away one of his legs... or has mutilated/killed one of his children while it played outside. I hope you do too... before it comes to that.
I'd agree with Ichhabe that many anti-vehicular mines can be set off by humans. I do know that most of the FASCAM series AT mines are magnetically triggered which reduced the chance of them being set off by a single person. Of course this is far from a perfect system.
You got me there FallenAngel...
Of course there is always the problem of drawing the line. Anti Tank mines? Claymores? Punji-Sticks?Since I have been in the army I must admit... there are even other tricks that are teached. You can make an "Instant-Mine" out of a simple handgrenade with a simple string. More advanced technique: You can use a "gimmick", possibly even the weapon of a fallen comrade and ****y-trap it with a simple handgrenade. What about those?
Would I use those in combat? (Although I have been a soldier for some years I have never been in combat I must admit). And I answer: Yeah... I would.
But... aren't those in effect landmines? There is no difference ! And I say: Yes... ****ytraps and punji-sticks are in effect mines. But there is a difference.
Of course soldiering is about practicabilty. But it is also about morals. They are, more than anything else, the mark of a true soldier. Killing is easy. With an assault rifle every idiot can kill. But why do you kill? And whom do you kill? You have got to keep your sense of morals ,especially in a profession like soldiering where it's damn easy to loose them. And if you do, you stop being a soldier.
And one of those moral things is, that you do not target civilians. You cannot always prevent the death of civilans. Sure. Even a precision bomb can kill innocents. A stray bullet can hit a civilan bystander. You cannot always prevent this. But you can try to minimize this. And you should try really hard.
But there are whole classes of weapons who are especially ****e to target civilians. (Ok in fact they are not... point is, they target everyone).
For example WMD. Of course a Tac-Nuke is a nice "trick" to have on your sleeve, but you will probably kill dozens or even hundreds of innocents. And if you don't (cause of your precision and some luck) someone else will starting using those... and bigger ones... and bigger ones, because it is always difficult to draw the line...
Same goes for mines. Modern mines are cheap and can be distributed by the millions even by "aerial scattering". In fact only very few out of the lot will be stepped upon (but there are A LOT). And they do not make a difference who does. Some of them self destruct? Yeah... but there is this drawing-the-line-thing again. How really to differentiate? This one has no self-destruct, this one has, this one has-but it works only half of the time? Better to ban all of them. (And do the western nations really need them for their kind of warfare? With all those cruise missiles and laser-guided bombs and stuff?)
Anti tank mines are much less of a problem. Of course a civilian can set off one. But the most important thing: They are heavier, therefore more difficult to distribute and to hide. And they are more expensive! If they would be banned too, I got no problem with it. But if a treaty just bans mines below a certain amount of explosives in the mine (should be something in the hundreds of grams zone... only the reeeeal big ones are ok) that would be something as well. At least it is possible to differentiate. But if they all have to go...fine with me. (And I do not think that it will reduce the effectiveness of western military that much. Tif this changes for some reason at a future day I think usage could not really be prevented. But at present it is possible I think).
And punji sticks? ****y traps? Not nice. They could be banned also. LOL.
But how could you possibly prevent some jungle-crawling partisans from using those? Ban bamboo? Hmmm.... And it is also impossible to ban all demolition devices with which one can build a ****y trap. So don't bother trying. As a soldier using them you have to use youre judgement when and where to set them. You will not be able to set tens of thousands of them, anyway. And if the probability that a non-combatant sets them off seems to high, you should not use them at all. Use your judgement. That is all you can do.
Finally. Claymores. They are not like landmines. They are set off by the soldier who uses them. The results can be quite... messy, sure. But I do not see the difference to "normal weapons" like rifles or MGs.
I talked to a friend who commanded a heavy engineer company and the standard fail rate for sef-destruction is 4%. Thats pretty significant if you talk about a mine field that has a couple hundred mines in it.
Not sure why AT mines are OK but AP mines are not.
Can AT mines tell when a war is over, or tell the difference between a Humvee and a school bus, or the differnece between Bradley and a tractor?
The thing that is wrong with them morally is their indiscriminate nature, and the after war effect they have on the society forced to live on the former battlezone. UXO is a problem anyway withut thousands of mines around the place.
Banning them is rather more in the US's interests than anyone else as one of the main strengths of the US military is its mobility. Mines take away that mobility and make all the expensive Thermal Imaging sights and high tech body armour redundant.
But apparantly a few thousand land mines is all that stands between North Korea being contained and North Korea taking over the world.... ohh and we have some in Cuba too.
Thats why the max time on those mines is 72 hours. After that time, all the mines detonate. From the literature I've read, the non-detonation rate, is pretty low. So instead of being used as a defensive tool, the mine field becomes an asset which can be used to block a axis of retreat or force an enemy to shift directions at the last moment. And the new mines CAN discriminate between US equipment and Russian Equipment and a school bus. Pretty freakin amazing if ya ask me. But Ichhabe is the expert in this field, not me.
Thank you for that. But I don't like to call me an expert. I know a lot, but there are so much mines out there, in so many forms and shapes, and, and and... I do not know even where to start. If one calls one self an expert, be sure that someday someone gonna make you eat those words, and there's no chance in hell you will ask for seconds.
But if you want my opinion on mines, in any form... Well, I consider myself disquielified on that subject. Being a Engineer-soldier in many cases, for a strange weird, almost impossible reason, make you in to like those little pests.