Isn't an ICBM an InterContinental Ballistic Missile?

There have been quite a few sites yesterday and today linking to this Sacramento Bee interview with an ex-Marine who was in Iraq. I read the interview last night, and there is one section that made me a little nervous. The interviewer asks what an ICBM is after the Marine says that "I had one of my Marines in my battalion who lost his leg from an ICBM." The marine answers that an ICBM is "a multi-purpose cluster bomb." I always thought that an ICBM was a missile, so I went a searching. I could find no reference at all to a cluster bomb by this name. I sent an email off to the reporter who did the interview last night but haven't heard back yet. Am I wrong? Here is one of the several comprehensive listings of American cluster armaments that I found online. Update: I just got an email from the interviewer letting me know that this was an error and that it is being corrected now.
You can skip to the end and leave a response.



I read that article and I've looked into this as well because I too am fairly certain that an ICBM is an intercontinental ballistic missile. The rest of his comments make sense. An M1A1 (the marines have the M1A1 and the army has the M1A2) does use depleted uranium in its hull and front turret armour... so at least that part wasn't a rant. But this ICBM talk may have been a misquote or a mistaken marine.

More than likely the marine (remember he wasn't an "ordy" or an artillery marine, so he's free to be in error) may have been referring to a "CBU". Just about all cluster-type munitions are called "cbu" and then a number. He was probably just mistaken. After all, he wasn't responsible for them.

Posted by Blogger Gavin on 2:10 AM

After re-read I would have to think the marine was talking about area denial mines. These mines are artillery launched (like his description) and used around firebases that are in or near the backwater, desert surrounded towns. These are used to bottleneck entry paths into manageable check points and are usually brightly marked (and sometimes mistaken as abandoned toys). They have some crazy acronym. FASCAM I think.. or something close to that. I have no idea what that stands for; sorry.

Posted by Blogger Gavin on 2:18 AM

Post a Comment