[..]Landmines have a number of military uses. They are typically used to channel opposing armies away from particular areas and into others. A minefield can force an enemy to turn, which exposes their flank and makes them especially vulnerable, says Vincent Brooks, a retired general who commanded American forces in South Korea in 2016-18. They can also be used to “canalise” the enemy, channelling attackers into unfavourable terrain, where they may be more exposed to concentrated artillery fire. But for all that, America has made little use of landmines in the past three decades, having cleared its last minefield, at the Guantanamo naval base in Cuba, in 1996-99 and having used a single APL in Afghanistan in 2002 (the purpose is unknown).
Why has Mr Trump decided he needs them now? The memorandum setting out the change in landmine policy opens by pointing to “the re-emergence of long-term, strategic competition”, language that the Pentagon typically uses to refer to China and Russia. Some experts suggest that the need to slow and disrupt a possible Russian offensive through eastern Europe is a possible rationale, especially because NATO’s strategy relies on buying time to reinforce its frontline positions. [..]
avots, The Economist