HOW right is David Pratt about the threat posed by the easily-carried "fire and forget" weapon which downed a Russian military plane in Syria a week ago ("A 'fire and forget' weapon we may have cause to remember", The Herald, February 9). The law of unintended consequences certainly applies here, except that countries manufacturing such deadly weapons should be ensuring their numbers are kept to a controllable amount and that there are strict processes in place to keep them in responsible hands.

The article would suggest no such safeguards are reassuringly evident and any civilian airline executive reading the article could have cause for concern, as could any ordinary person flying from A to B. The business of weapons trading is open to military misuse, or is it the case that even such weapons in a military context should come under the same sort of banning classification as chemical weapons? Not that some nations appear to be much influenced by moral considerations.

Ian Johnstone,

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