Tuesday, June 20, 2006

US making new landmines

Ten years after US President Bill Clinton declared the country would "aggressively pursue an international agreement to ban the use, stockpiling, production, and transfer of anti-personnel landmines," the US has moved no closer to eliminating the weapons, and is in fact developing new types of mines, RAW STORY has learned.

According to the International Campaign to Ban Landmines, budget documents submitted to Congress in 2005 show that the Pentagon is preparing for the development of new types of antipersonnel landmines called "Spider."

The flip of a switch

Spider landmines differ from conventional mines because they are designed to detonate in a variety of ways. Spider mines can explode either through command-detonation--where a human operator determines when the mine will explode the mine (also know as a “man in the loop” system)--or through conventional victim-activation, where a victim detonates the weapon by stepping on or picking up the mine. An operator would have the ability to turn the switch one way for command-detonation, and the other way for victim-detonation.

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