Foreign Policy

Trump to Make Landmines Great Again

JM Ashby
Written by JM Ashby

The use of landmines has been banned by over 160 countries for over twenty years by the 1997 Ottawa Convention, but the United States soon won't be among the list of countries that prohibits their use.

The Obama administration created an exception to the Ottawa Convention when the United States joined it in 2014 by allowing the use of landmines along the demilitarized zone in Korea, but Trump is reportedly going rescind President Obama's order, exit the convention altogether, and allow the use of landmines outside of Korea.

From CNN:

The Obama policy committed to replacing landmines in the US stockpile after they expire and directed the destruction of stockpiles not required for the defense of South Korea.

In an exception to the Ottawa convention, the Obama policy allowed the US military to continue to use landmines on the Korean Peninsula where some 28,000 US troops are stationed across the de-militarized zone from North Korea's military of one million troops. That exception was criticized by some non-government organizations.

President Donald Trump is expected to rescind Obama's 2014 order in the coming days, delegating landmine policy to the secretary of defense, thereby bringing it in line with weapons policies other than nuclear weapons.

According to CNN, the new policy will require the Pentagon to only use landmines that self-destruct or deactivate after 30-days, but that raises more questions for me; like how much that's going to cost.

Officials who spoke to CNN say using landmines will give the U.S. military an advantage in combat, but that was true for every force that ever used them. They were banned because of their unintended consequences, not because they weren't potent weapons.

When the military starts using landmines again, remember that Donald The Dove made it possible.

  • sawadee2000

    While living in Thailand, I had the opportunity to visit Cambodia several times. You don’t have to spend much time there to see the horrible devastation that landmines are STILL causing there. I Took this picture of some land mine victims who were eking out a living playing for tourists visiting Angkor Wat. https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/8609ce2aed0674657d7a256a5ded2c42782f17a1fc83ac10d48570af11089f0e.jpg livihttps://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/8609ce2aed0674657d7a256a5ded2c42782f17a1fc83ac10d48570af11089f0e.jpg

  • muselet

    Surely everyone has noticed how breathless and wide-eyed Donald Trump gets when he talks about injuries from IEDs—seems like that’s porn for him—so of course he wants the military to breach the Ottawa Convention and start deploying landmines.

    I didn’t like the Obama administration’s decision on landmines in Korea, but I understood it: the North Korean army could flood into South Korea in short order, so a deterrent, even a crude and indiscriminate one, wasn’t entirely unreasonable.

    This is different. This is a thick child blowing up toy soldiers with firecrackers because he can’t find any frogs to kill.

    Trump is not a well man.

    –alopecia

  • fry1laurie

    Wants them for the Mexican border. Drumpf would love to be able to brag to the mouth-breathers about people getting blown up (“I’m tough!”) trying to enter the country.

  • gescove

    Another day, more fresh hell.