Attila the Pun
Wednesday, April 13, 2005

Oh hello Mr Iraq-Insurgent-sneaking-up-on-a-US-base. That was a lovely remote controlled IED you planted last week. And that sure is a great mortar you are setting up in a patch of dead ground near the medical hospital. Oh I am sorry, did I forget to introduce you to *our* remote controlled ED's? Good bye.

By June, soldiers in the Army's Stryker Brigade, which operates mainly in and around the northern city of Mosul, will be able to pick out an individual anti-personnel munition from a minefield of hundreds and explode it by pushing a computer's touch screen from many yards away.

The system, known as Matrix, is part of the Army's emerging arsenal of "smart" land mines that military officials say are meant to do away with the accidental deaths and maimings caused by their not-so-smart brethren.

Twenty-five sets of mines, including M18 Claymores, and the laptops that trigger them over a wireless network are being rushed into the field after the system was successfully tested in September.

It is an unfortunate fact that landmines are a very useful weapon that leave a horrible and dangerous legacy long after a conflict is over. Using a system which renders them safe unless operated by a human is a terrific idea.

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