Inching Toward a Ban on Land Mines
Posted on May 8, 2010
Here’s some good news: The White House is currently in a “vigorous debate” over whether or not to sign the Ottawa Treaty, an international agreement to ban land mines, as pressure from Capitol Hill and NGOs pushes the administration to reconsider the country’s decade-old refusal to sign.
These “anti-personnel mines” are explosive devices placed underground in order to kill humans (not tanks or artillery), often located along the borders of non-friendly countries, like the two Koreas). —JCL
The New York Times:
The Obama administration, under intense political pressure from Capitol Hill and elsewhere, is engaged in a vigorous debate over whether to reverse course and join an international treaty banning land mines, administration officials said this week.
In re-examining the issue, the administration is stepping back into the glare of a perennial cause that has captured the attention of world leaders, royalty and celebrities. It is also inviting another internal debate that pits the Pentagon against other parts of the administration.
The policy review, which officials expect to be completed this summer, could result in the United States pledging to abide by the treaty’s provisions even if it does not join it. That would be a striking disavowal of its announcement last fall that it would stick to the Bush administration’s refusal to join the agreement, known as the Ottawa Treaty.
A sign warning against land mines is on display at the Landmine Museum near Cambodia’s Angkor Wat temple complex.