Smart Mines and Degaussed Ships: Using All Our Tools
By John J. Holmes
Mines are cheap and dangerous. An adversary can deploy them covertly without directly confronting a naval vessel. Since 1950, mines have inflicted on the U.S. Navy three times the number of ship casualties as all other threats combined.1 A minefield can cost lives, delay or alter the outcome of a conflict, prevent rapid reconstitution of naval capabilities due to casualties, damage economies, and adversely influence foreign and domestic politics.