Paul Salopek calls landmines a war crime. Tom Ricks admits that landmines "are awful little things" and that especially "evil are the simple little ones, no bigger than a can of tuna fish, [that] last for decades, and blow up kids, dogs, sheep and photographers." But he still thinks they have their uses:
[W]hy do I have even one good word to say about land mines? Because those that are built to self-destruct after a set period -- say six months -- can still be useful. For example, if Pakistan descended into total chaos, it might be a very good idea to air-drop land mines around the bunkers holding its nuclear warheads, just to keep them from falling into terrorist hands while the situation is sorted out. Considering that the alternative could be a nuclear 9/11, in New York, Bombay, Madrid, Paris, or London, suddenly land mines don't seem so bad. This is of course an extreme situation, but it tells me there are some instances where an argument can be made for certain kinds of land mines.
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