Monday, May 19, 2008

Banning new toys.

It seems that the UK is going to request exemptions from the cluster bomb ban being proposed. Read here.

Cluster bombs are being looked at because of the way they work. Effectively they come in one big bomb which when at an optimum height disgorges it's payload, several smaller bombs, over a wider area. in effective making a much wider area a target. For example it can be used as a runway denial weapons where one big hole might leave enough runway for smaller planes to use. Hundred of little pockmarks across the entire runway make it unusable. When the bombs turn into landmines it is an area denial weapon.

They are looking at banning the use of the landmine part to fit in with the landmine ban. It does make sense otherwise you are allowing landmines to be distributed via this method. For some reason our government seems to think it is acceptable. I wonder why? They are even looking at reclassifying weapons that were labelled cluster bombs to something different to avoid the potential ban. That sound more like our government.

I would imagine that a clear definition could be agreed. Something along the lines that after a certain time after deployment then the bombs must become inactive or just explode with a size of less than six inches and a payload of more than ten or something. Of course whatever it is we will make them to just fit in that spec so we will need to be very careful. Otherwise we could end up classifying the MIRVs from our nuclear deterrent as cluster mines. It might even cover bombers and drones. That won't be good. Of course no specification will never be 100% effective as there will always be a percentage of any weapon that fails to function as expected but such is war. The failure rate will need to be agreed and independently tested. After all in this day and age why would we want to leave landmines around for years to maim and kill civilians?

It's about time we brought our munitions into the 21st century. Although they will always be dangerous. That is what they were designed for.


At 10:52 am, Anonymous Anonymous said...

While they are at it, all anti-personnel explosive devices should be banned, especially the Bouncing Betty. This particular nasty piece of kit is spring loaded to "jump" to waist height before going off.

At 8:46 pm, Blogger Bag said...

Always thinking of better ways to kill ourselves. I'm sure we could look at quite a few of the toys in our military catalogue and save a few bob.


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