A Mine is a Terrible Thing to Waste: The Operational Implications of Banning Anti-Personnel Landmines.
ARMY COMMAND AND GENERAL STAFF COLL FORT LEAVENWORTH KS SCHOOL OF ADVANCED MILITARY STUDIES
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Approximately 25,000 people each year fall victim to the estimated 110 million anti-personnel landmines APL scattered throughout the world. Most of the victims are non-combatants in third-world and developing nations. Because most APL are cheap to procure, long-lasting once employed, and totally indiscriminate concerning their choice of victims, the world has begun to vilify these so-called slow motion weapon of mass destruction Thus in December of 1997 did 122 nations join with Canada in signing the provisions of the Ottawa Process -- an agreement that bans universally the use, sale, and transfer of all APL. Absent from the roll of signatories was the United States. The president was willing to end U.S. use of conventional APL, except in Korea, but was convinced by the Joint Chiefs of Staff that scatterable self-destructing APL were critical to the Armys countermobility doctrine and did not contribute to the humanitarian problem. Nonetheless, congress passed a unilateral law requiring a one-year moratorium on U.S. use of all APL, except along internationally recognized national borders read Korean DMZ. This monograph examines whether or not the U.S. can fulfill its current warfighting contingencies without the use of APL. The monograph begins by describing the global nature of the APL problem and examining the events that led to the Ottawa treaty and the congressional Use Moratorium. Ban activists including many members of congress have gone to great lengths to show that APL do not have -- in fact have never had -- significant military utility. Therefore, the next section of this paper consists of historical analyses of the past use of APL in the PACOM Korea, and CENTCOM Southwest AsiaMiddle East areas of responsibility AORs -- the two areas that represent present-day military contingencies.
- Land Mine Warfare