Take Note: Russia Has Destroyed Cities With This Artillery Gun
To put it concisely, these are amongst the most devastating explosive weapons short of tactical nuclear weapons.
Are weapons deploying fuel-air explosives munitions inherently inhumane? While there is a debate to be had whether one manner of killing and harming human beings in war is inherently more unacceptable than another and should be banned, the more proximate concern with heavier FAE weapons that create very large blasts is that they are inherently indiscriminate. A TOS-1 rocket barrage will wipe out everything within the two-hundred-by-three-hundred-meter blast zone. This is problematic when the weapon is employed against targets amid an urban civilian population—typical of much of the fighting in Iraq, Syria and Ukraine.
Sébastien Roblin holds a Master’s Degree in Conflict Resolution from Georgetown University and served as a university instructor for the Peace Corps in China. He has also worked in education, editing, and refugee resettlement in France and the United States. He currently writes on security and military history for War Is Boring. This article first appeared in September 2016.