Conclusions and Recommendations
President John F. Kennedy closed his address to the Centennial Convocation of the National Academy of Sciences quoting French Marshall Lyautey, who when talking with his gardener said, “Plant a tree tomorrow.” The gardener replied, “It won't bear fruit for a hundred years.” “In that case,” said Lyautey, “plant it this afternoon.” (News Report, 1963)
Conclusion 1. The major reasons for seeking alternatives to current antipersonnel landmines (APL) are humanitarian concerns, compliance with the Ottawa Convention, and enhanced military effectiveness. Indeed, this study would not have been empanelled were it not for the Ottawa Convention. The current inventory of self-destructing and self-deactivating U.S. APL is militarily advantageous and safe. They achieve desired military objectives without endangering U.S. warfighters or noncombatants more than other weapons of war, but they are not compliant with the Ottawa Convention. However, humanitarian concerns and Ottawa compliance are not always synonymous. In fact, some of the apparently Ottawa-compliant alternatives examined by the committee may be less humane than present U.S. self-destructing and self-deactivating landmines.
Recommendation 1a. If the decision is made to accede to the Ottawa Convention, a transition period may be necessary before implementation to maintain current U.S. military capabilities until suitable alternatives can be made available. During that transition, existing self-destructing and self-deactivating antipersonnel landmines should be retained, both in their stand-alone form and as part of mixed systems.
Recommendation 1b. Of the solutions not compliant with the Ottawa Convention, simply retaining the current self-destructing and self-deactivating mines would be the best course of action.
Conclusion 2. The rapid emergence of new technologies after 2006 will create opportunities for the development of systems that can outperform today's antipersonnel landmines and that would be compliant with Ottawa.
Recommendation 2a. The development of sensor-net technology should be pursued aggressively and eventually incorporated into a fully militarized, deployed system characterized by networking, strong detection and tracking capabilities, robustness, low power consumption, low cost, covertness, low probability of intercept, easy deployment, and disposability.
Recommendation 2b. Investments already being made in new technologies for other purposes should be leveraged and applied to the search for alternatives to antipersonnel landmines.
ALTERNATIVES AVAILABLE BY 2006
Conclusion 3. By 2006, alternative tactics or operational concepts could not, on their own, provide tactical advantages similar to those provided by antipersonnel landmines, without a significant increase in force structure. In certain situations, however, some nonmateriel alternatives might be useful: increased reconnaissance forward; more soldiers or weapon systems in a given battlefield area; more commanddetonated Claymores to protect against a dismounted enemy; antitank mines remotely delivered “just in time” to support a maneuver and inhibit the enemy's ability to breach; and speed, mobility, and offensive tactical operations.
Conclusion 4. For use against dismounted forces, the Track I alternative to nonself-destructing landmines (NSD-A) could provide, by 2006, similar or enhanced tactical advantages for U.S. forces as compared to those provided by current nonself-destructing antipersonnel landmines. The battlefield override switch, a software capability that allows the system to operate autonomously, is highly contentious because, as presently designed, it would render the NSD-A non-Ottawa compliant. Even though the timing of a decision on the switch or other programmatic delays could jeopardize the timeline, the NSD-A system appears to be technically mature enough to be available by 2006. This weapon system could be greatly enhanced in the future by planning for the
inclusion of additional sensors, nonlethal elements, and an Ottawa-compliant battlefield override capability.
Recommendation 4a. The development and production of the Track I alternative to nonself-destructing landmines (NSD-A) system should be aggressively pursued to ensure its availability by 2006.
Recommendation 4b. Two suites of weapon software should be developed simultaneously in preparation for a presidential decision concerning the Ottawa Convention. If compliance with the Ottawa Convention were desired, the battlefield override switch, as currently designed, would not be used in the production of the NSD-A. If the president decides that other considerations outweigh Ottawa compliance, the option of retaining the switch would be available. In any case, Ottawa-compliant variations to the battlefield override switch should be explored to provide the United States with greater flexibility.
Recommendation 4c. Sensor technology should be leveraged immediately to develop sensor systems to improve a soldier's ability to discriminate among friends, foes, and noncombatants in all terrain and all weather conditions at much greater battlefield ranges.
Conclusion 5. Under current policy, no fully equivalent alternative to mixed systems is likely to be available by 2006. Other than the Track III search for an alternative, little is being done that could lead to the fielding of a satisfactory alternative. The Hornet/Wide Area Munition (WAM), with its large lethal radius and antihandling device, could replace most of the tactical functions currently provided by mixed systems but has no remote delivery capability. If a satisfactory remote delivery capability could be developed by 2006, the Hornet / WAM appears capable of performing the mixedminefield mission satisfactorily.
Recommendation 5a. Promising Track III concepts should be developed into weapon system programs. The development of any of these concepts by the 2006 deadline, however, would require that considerable additional resources be allocated for development and procurement.
Recommendation 5b. The feasibility, cost, and schedule of providing a remote delivery option for the Hornet/Wide Area Munition should be investigated. Shock hardening of the mine to withstand the impact of remote delivery appears to be an Ottawa-compliant, low-risk solution to current mixed minefields.
Conclusion 6. The Remote Area-Denial Artillery Munition (RADAM), a mixed system, provides little or no military advantage over the combined use of the Remote Antiarmor Mine System (RAAMS) and the Area-Denial Artillery Munition (ADAM). Because RADAM would be no more compliant with the Ottawa Convention than the ADAM/ RAAMS combination, funding for its development could be better spent on accelerating the development of an Ottawacompliant alternative. If DOD determines that an artillerydelivered mixed system must be maintained, there are two options: (1) request a change in presidential policy to allow the continued use of ADAM to be fired in tandem with RAAMS; or (2) develop RADAM. The latter option would require taking the Ottawa-compliant RAAMS out of the inventory to create a new non-compliant munition.
Recommendation 6. Until a long-term solution can be developed, the Area-Denial Artillery Munition (ADAM) should be retained in the inventory for use with the Remote Antiarmor Mine System (RAAMS). Production of the Remote Area-Denial Artillery Munition (RADAM) should be halted and funding redirected toward the development of long-term alternatives for mixed systems.
Conclusion 7. Although nonlethal variants by themselves cannot replace antipersonnel landmines, they would be useful in certain military operations. U.S. forces will face a broad range of potential scenarios in the future, from peace operations to intense full combat. With nonlethal variants, U.S. forces could mount a graduated response in situations where the threat is unclear, such as peace operations, or if large noncombatant populations were in the immediate tactical area. Nonlethal weapons have several advantages: they can be used in a broad variety of circumstances; they can be triggered automatically; and they do not require man-in-the-loop operation to be Ottawa compliant, which could improve the timeliness of a response and lessen the burden on the soldier/operator.
Recommendation 7. The development of nonlethal variants to support antipersonnel landmine alternatives should be emphasized. Funding should be restored and development accelerated for the nonlethal Canister-Launched Area-Denial System (CLADS). The CLADS munition should then be integrated into Volcano (M87A1) canisters to provide a mix of antitank and nonlethal antipersonnel munitions.
ALTERNATIVES POTENTIALLY AVAILABLE AFTER 2006
Conclusion 8. After 2006, improvements in the tactical effectiveness of existing or proposed remotely delivered antitank (AT) landmines ought to be technologically feasible, which could eliminate the need for mixed systems. Future systems that separate the sensor from the shooter could be improved by multiple means of remote deployment and
resistance to countermeasures through signature reduction and other techniques. Track III programs, like the Track I initiative, will require concentrated effort and stable funding. In the long term, the emergence of new technologies, such as the ability to distinguish accurately between combatants and noncombatants, will provide opportunities for the development of systems that can outperform today's antipersonnel landmines.
Recommendation 8a. The Army should proceed rapidly with plans for modernizing existing remotely delivered pure antitank landmine systems, such as Remote Antiarmor Mine System (RAAMS) and Volcano (M87A1), by incorporating other technologies, including sensors, precision locators, and nonlethal devices.
Recommendation 8b. The development of the Self-Healing Minefield concept, which automatically reacts to any breaching attempt by refilling gaps, should be experimentally evaluated to determine its operational effectiveness.
Recommendation 8c. Several other technologies or systems already under development for other purposes should be considered as potential components of long-term alternatives to antipersonnel landmines, including unmanned air and ground vehicles, directed-energy weapons, battlefield sensory-illusion devices, passive transponders (e.g., tags), and other lethal and nonlethal systems.
SELF-DESTRUCTING, SELF-DEACTIVATING FUZES
Conclusion 9. The self-destructing and self-deactivating capability of today's U.S. scatterable landmines, used in accordance with international law, is a desirable operational capability because it (1) increases maneuver options and (2) addresses humanitarian concerns by reducing residual explosive hazards.
Recommendation 9. Any nonrecoverable, explosive alternative to antipersonnel landmines should have self-destructing and self-deactivating fuzes to meet operational requirements, address humanitarian concerns, and reduce fratricide among friendly troops. The U.S. government should consider equipping all nonrecoverable explosive munitions with similar technologies.