The United States Decides To Stop Manufacturing Anti Personnel Mines.

by Daniel Russ on August 9, 2014

 

 

It has been a long time coming. A muscular military complex added to traditionally dilatory government bureaucracies made it almost impossible to move legislation banning the use of a popular weapon. But land mines kill long after the war is over. Even today somewhere across the world, about 70 people are injured or killed by one very single day.

APLs, or anti personnel landmines are present in millions of square miles of former combat zones and current areas deeply consumed in political fires and savagery. Take CBUs or Cluster Bomb Units. These are smaller bomblets that are housed in a large canister that is then dropped from bomb bay doors and opens in the air and distributes the mines over a large area. We dropped millions of CBUs during our war with Vietnam. The strategy is called area denial. If you have an army moving weapons through a jungle trail, CBUs can deny use of the trail for a long while, delaying enemy reserves and supply lines. Many of the Cluster Bomb Units we dropped over Southeast Asia still kill and maim in Laos. And who dies from this mine? Women walking a trail gathering water. Local farmers moving through rice paddies tending cattle, a school teacher on her way to remote classroom.

A small fanatical group or longtime enemies or people in the midst of a boundary dispute find that land mines create boundaries not drawn on maps. Today mines are popular with insurgent forces around the world because they can be used as IEDs and remotely detonated. Mines are a powerful weapon of terror for small groups of zealots who are having a row with a rival ethnic group. So there is a market for land mines and the US, Israel, Chile, Russia, Austria and about 40 other countries still manufacture and sell them internationally.

The Ottawa Convention, puts a ban on the use, development, production, acquisition, retention, stockpiling, or transfer of anti-personnel landmines.”

Many landmines are designed to injure but not kill the victim. If you have a dead infantry solider, then you can leave him or her until you have the resources to recover the body. But if you have a soldier with half a foot blown off, you have to attend to him now. This slows down a moving force, and uses valuable resources in the midst of combat.

That said, the US is finally joining the cause. This, from Mukt:

 

“Our delegation in Maputo made clear that we are diligently pursuing solutions that would be compliant with and ultimately allow the United States to accede to the Ottawa Convention — the treaty banning the use, stockpiling, production and transfer of APL,” National Security Council spokeswoman Caitlin Hayden said in a statement.

The administration is giving a thought to how to reduce the risks of forgoing land mines, and “other aspects of our land-mine policy remain under consideration,” she said.

“The United States shares the humanitarian goals of the Ottawa Convention and is the world’s single largest financial supporter of humanitarian mine action, providing more than $2.3 billion in aid since 1993 in more than 90 countries for conventional weapons destruction programs,” Hayden said.

 

It is time.

 

BTM Mine

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BTM leg

 

 

.BTM girl

 

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