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The concept of smart (i.e., self-destructing) mines certainly has humanitarian allure. In theory, a mine that blows itself up in a relatively short period of time is preferable to a mine that lasts for decades, and should pose less danger to civilians. A smart mine MAY be a safer mine, but it is NOT a safe mine -- there will still be unacceptable risks for civilians, there will still be new mine victims, and the clearance task (while less dangerous) will be just as time-consuming and costly, perhaps even more so. One can argue that in some ways smart mines could pose even greater dangers to civilians because of the large numbers used in a random fashion.

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