Bush Team Shies from Clinton Landmine Policy

Arms Control Today, September 2001 | Go to article overview

Bush Team Shies from Clinton Landmine Policy


In its ongoing review of U.S. landmine policy, the Bush administration appears to be distancing itself from then-President Bill Clinton's statement that by 2006 the United States might sign the Ottawa Convention, a treaty banning anti-personnel landmines (APLs).

In a July letter to Representative James McGovern (D-MA), Assistant Secretary of State for Legislative Affairs Paul Kelly wrote that in its review, due to be completed later this year, the administration had to "examine the need for landmines on the modern battlefields of the future." Kelly contended that "the United States bears unique security burdens and cannot undercut the effectiveness of [its] military on the way to that future."

Kelly pointed out that the United States is already a state-party to the amended mines protocol of the Convention on Certain Conventional Weapons (CCW), which he described as "equally important" as the Ottawa Convention.

The Ottawa Convention proscribes the use, stockpiling, production, and transfer of APLs, whereas the CCW protocol outlaws APLs that are not detectable but permits the use of mines if deployed in certain ways, such as within perimeter-marked areas. …

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