By Rae McGrath
Written by means of a Nobel Peace Prize co-laureate who's one of many top voices within the anti-landmines crusade, this well timed booklet is a finished, useful consultant to landmines and unexploded ordnance.
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Extra info for Landmines and Unexploded Ordnance: A Resource Book
Even a 1 per cent failure rate, given the deployment figures used by Prokosch, would leave 3 million unexploded and potentially dangerous bomblets scattered across the rural areas of three countries in which a fragile system of subsistence agriculture is vital to the survival of the population. McNamara, as US secretary of defense, certainly had An Introduction to Landmines and Unexploded Ordnance 23 such data available, although the research had been conducted to confirm the lethality of the bomblets rather than from any humanitarian concern.
21 It is probably inevitable that all strategists present the enemy as a flock of sheep blindly moving into each trap and disregard the possibility that the enemy may, inconveniently, have plans of their own. Strategy documents rarely refer to soldiers or people, as though admitting that each unit was made up of individual human beings would somehow weaken the tactical integrity of the plan. ’ Landmines are remarkable in the gap which seems to separate the confidence of the manufacturers and tacticians from the soldiers who must fight with and against them.
Cambodia, like Laos, had suffered the consequences of providing a convenient military haven and staging post for the North Vietnamese forces; it subsequently became another target for the US military. But the Vietnam War proved only a preface to the welldocumented horrors which would overtake Cambodia: the Khmer Rouge, invasion and liberation by Vietnam, civil war, the shameful UN intervention followed by more civil war. It is not surprising, in the midst of such misery, that the toll being taken by landmines was hidden for many years.