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Area Impact Munitions

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posted on Jan, 31 2008 @ 05:08 AM
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In a few weeks time I have to do a presentation for part of my strategic studies lecture on area impact munitions and thought here would be a good place to get some ideas for the debate. Im planning on looking at cluster munitions and fuel-air weapons but if there are any other ideas I would more than welcome them. Two main questions:

1) Can area-impact munitions be counted as WMDs?

2) Could / should they fall under pre-existing treaties?




posted on Jan, 31 2008 @ 08:13 AM
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Be specific on "area impact munitions". What exactly is an area impact munitions?

Are you talking about Thermobaric weapons? If so, then they are the most lethal conventional ordinance in US inventory. Most popular known thermobaric is the Fuel Air Explosive, second to nuclear ordinance.

Another large munition would be the 30 thousand + pound MOAB (Massive Ordinance Air Bomb). Basically just a lot of explosives packed into one device with GPS.

Do you mean kinetic/gravity weapons? I'm just not sure what the definition of Area Impact Munitions is as this is the first I'm ever hearing about it.

Shattered OUT...



posted on Jan, 31 2008 @ 08:40 AM
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If you re-read my original post you can see that I already want to look at (standard) cluster munitions and fuel-air / thermobaric munitions.

I was referring to area impact munitions in terms of weapons that have a fairly indiscriminate effect over a large geographical area. This being the main area of contention when comparing the effects to already established WMDs.

Your right MOAB might fall into this, so I guess it might be worth looking into FOAB and I think the chinese have something similar.



posted on Jan, 31 2008 @ 09:03 AM
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For some odd reason that sentence totally slipped my mind when I was reading...

Anyways, thermobarics are your best bet, since the late 1960's the Soviet Union has deployed Man portable weapons that fire thermobaric munitions. The United States has used such weapons dropped from aircraft. You might want to also consider chemical weapons as they are not quite WMD's, but they are just as devastating in nature. Look specifically at the VX gas, which I think as a neuro-toxin is a very lethal gas, the US and Russia still has stock piles of VX gas despite the UN lobbying for the dismantlement of any military grade ordinance.

Just some ideas that I'm throwing out there. Another good weapon that we all know about is the SCUD, not quite a WMD, but still feared and also any real Cruise Missile with a large yield or any MRBM platforms will usually launch with some massive amount of ordinance, but not quite be a WMD.

Shattered OUT...



posted on Jan, 31 2008 @ 10:28 AM
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reply to post by ShatteredSkies
 


ERM


the WMD triangle of weapons are Nuclear , Biological and Chemical weapons


VX gas is very much a WMD - and the only Chemical agent the US *used* to deploy is the binary agent VX and deployed in the BLU-80/B Bigeye dumb bomb

the US no longer use chemical weapons, as quite frankly it was just as dangerous to themselves than to any russians - the russians on the other hand had extensive research into Chemical and very much advanced Bilogical agents , the US stayed the path with Nukes almost exlusively and so are decades (in some fields) behind the russians.



posted on Jan, 31 2008 @ 10:45 AM
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reply to post by tarichar
 


If it's not Nuclear, Biological, Chemical, it's not a WMD. Hope that helps.
There's an important distinction between WMD and conventional weapons(even if they're large conventional weapons).



posted on Jan, 31 2008 @ 10:55 AM
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White Phosphorus is the exception - The US , , UK and israel are very much the only countries which have not banned this chemical agent - when used for `illumination` or `smoke screen` the WP can be used according to those 3 countries - but as displayed in Fullajah - `shake and bake` missions - ones where WP and HE are dropped everywhere to flush people out into the open then blow them up actually contravenes geneva conventions and makes white phosphours a chemical weapon and is banned.

People from the US will disagree of course.



posted on Jan, 31 2008 @ 11:19 AM
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I tought that WP was considered as "flame weapon" and thus it's on par with Napalm etc. Not chemical weapons. At least our military teaches to use WP to destroy enemy equipment and vehicles...



posted on Jan, 31 2008 @ 11:49 AM
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well i don`t want to turn this into a debate on WP but suffice to say that


White phosphorus is not banned by any treaty to which the United States is a signatory.


they didn`t sign it so they say its not illegal - a bit silly really as anyone can use that arguement.



posted on Jan, 31 2008 @ 11:58 AM
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The Geneva Convention doesn't prohibit the use of WP(or Napalm for that matter) against military targets. So these shake and bake missions as you called them are not in violation of the laws of land warfare. Furthermore is a treaty binding, if one hasn't signed it?



posted on Jan, 31 2008 @ 12:20 PM
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well heres one for you

pakistan and india have not signed the NPT (non proliferation treaty) so can they do what they want with nuclear technology?


hypocrisy at its best.



posted on Jan, 31 2008 @ 12:22 PM
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There's a difference between not liking something, and it being illegal though. It would be hard to enforce some legal statute, if one hadn't agreed to follow a law in the first place. If they had signed on, and then still developed nukes, then you'd have a case where there was a violation.
My problem is when people equate- I don't like it=illegal.



posted on Jan, 31 2008 @ 12:34 PM
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Protocol II of the CCWC of which the US is a signotory is the issue at hand - when using WP for illumination , smoke or against military targets is fine - the problem per se is when you use it in a way which *may be Deemed to be Excessively Injurious or to have Indiscriminate Effects* (taken from the protocol) , then it becomes a `chemical weapon` ; and that is the whole rukas at fullajah - WP was dropped all over the city effectively blanketting it , the state department changed there tune once the pictures and video had been leaked out of fullajah from `smoke only` to ` attacking enemy insurgants and forcing them into the open`


just because the US hasn`t signed the treaty does not make it any less illegal.


but now what? so the US has melted faces in a city - who`s going to stop it happening again?



posted on Jan, 31 2008 @ 12:54 PM
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I believe no one will Harlequin, I believe that's the beauty of politics in the world, the only people who get to make control things, are the people with power and who well, effectively rule and have won.

You see history is only written by those who win. You're right that just because someone doesn't acknowledge a law, doesn't mean it's not there, it's still in place and would still be just as legal with our without their signature, but in a case where the perpetrator has more power than those enforcing the rules, well then the law is effectively moot.

Bottom line, people in power do what they want, I mean look at the invasion in Iraq, had nothing to do with Osama Bin Laden or the war on terrorism, did it anyways!

Shattered OUT...



posted on Jan, 31 2008 @ 12:58 PM
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Originally posted by Harlequin

or against military targets is fine -



An insurgent is a military target, therefore it's a legitimate use, whether for cover, illumination, or incineration. If you can show that WP was used indescriminately against non-military targets, then you'd have a gripe.



posted on Jan, 31 2008 @ 01:02 PM
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reply to post by ShatteredSkies
 


It's a slippery slope when trying to enforce a treaty as law, that one hasn't signed onto. It's not as clear cut as saying that one is liable for war crimes, regardless of whether they agreed not to commit them or not.



posted on Jan, 31 2008 @ 01:35 PM
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Originally posted by tarichar
1) Can area-impact munitions be counted as WMDs?


Originally posted by BlueRaja...If it's not Nuclear, Biological, Chemical, it's not a WMD.
...


There is no clear definition that only NBC weapons fall under the term "Weapons of mass destruction" - or the other way around, every second organization has its own special definition. In fact the meaning of the term WMD has evolved over the decades. Primarily WMDs are weapons that by themselves have the potential to injure or kill a large number of people AND whose effect cannot be contained once set in motion. As an example, you can´t control the way the wind blows in a gas attack, or you can´t contain a highly infectious agent without a large safety zone.

Area impact weapons can of course, under circumstances, kill a lot of persons, but that is usually not the case. High numbers of casualties result from multiple uses of said weapons (as in a carper bombing) and, often more devastating, triggered events like large-scale fires, flooding, destruction of vital infrastructure and the like. What is more, since even area weapons have a limited maximum strength (given by the heaviest conventional bomb you can REASONABLY make and use), they usually stay "controllable" in their effects.

So no, the weapons you name do not count as WMDs. A special case however are the cluster munitions you spoke of, as they cross the border to the landmine problem. Many cluster weapons have a high failure rate leaving unexploded submunitions lying around for civilians to pick up. There are many deaths and injuries from submunition duds reported every year; some awful types of submunitions are even designed to explode later on or when picked up.

[edit on 31/1/2008 by Lonestar24]



posted on Jan, 31 2008 @ 01:48 PM
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That is true, some other weapons we might want to look at that aren't WMDs, are field suppression weapons, weapons designed to saturate an area (since you said Area Impact Munitions) with fire/ordinance.

A good example is the GAU-12 mini gun.

Auto cannons are pretty devastating as well, but they have a far lower rate of fire. I guess some others we might want to consider are Anti-Aircraft Artillery which needs to cover a vast area in the sky in order to hit a single target.

Shattered OUT...



posted on Jan, 31 2008 @ 02:00 PM
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The traditional definition of WMDs do not include conventional weapons, even if they are capable of producing a large number of casualties. WMDs are unique, and that's why it's been limited to NBC, as their effects are unlike conventional munitions.



posted on Jan, 31 2008 @ 02:20 PM
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reply to post by northwolf
 


Theres no banning of flame throwers by the Geneva Convention, so I don't understand why the need to ban WP which is similar.




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