U.S. Announces Changes to
By Jim Garamone, American Forces Press Service.
Washington D.C. – (AFPS)
– June 27, 2014 – The United States will not produce or otherwise acquire any
anti-personnel landmines in the future, American officials announced in Maputo,
Close-up of a bounding anti-personnel
mine exposed by the shifting sands of an unspecified desert
The declaration -- delivered at the end of the Third Review Conference of the
Ottawa Convention -- reinforces America’s commitment to the aims of the treaty.
The convention prohibits the use, stockpiling, production and transfer of
anti-personnel landmines. American officials in Maputo said the United States
would like to accede to the Ottawa Convention. The United States is researching
how to “mitigate” the risks associated with the loss of anti-personnel landmines.
“Other aspects of our land mine policy remain under consideration and we will
share outcomes from that process as we are in a position to do so,” National
Security Council spokeswoman Caitlan Hayden said in a written statement released
today by the White House.
Army Gen. Martin E. Dempsey, the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff,
“believes this decision on anti-personnel landmines, given our current
stockpiles, protects current capabilities while we work towards a reliable and
effective substitute. As he has said, landmines, used responsibly, are a
valuable tool in the arsenal of the United States that can save U.S. and allied
lives," according to a statement issued by the chairman’s spokesman, Air Force
Col. Edward W. Thomas Jr.
The United States has worked with countries around the world to eliminate the
threat posed by landmines. Landmines left over from World War II have injured or
killed people in North Africa. Mines in Cambodia, Vietnam and Laos still hurt
citizens of those countries. Recent heavy flooding in Bosnia-Herzegovina in the
Balkans has uncovered dangerous landmines left over from the 1992-95 war that
was fought there. Afghanistan was once one of the most heavily mined countries
in the world.
The United States has provided more than $2.3 billion in aid since 1993 in
more than 90 countries for conventional weapons destruction programs.
(Follow Jim Garamone on Twitter: @garamoneAFPS)
Statement by NSC Spokesperson Caitlin Hayden on U.S. Anti-Personnel Landmine
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