Why has the US not agreed to ban land mines looking at the civilian causalities after the wars.Why has the US not agreed to ban land mines looking at the civilian causalities after the wars.

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litteacher8's profile pic

litteacher8 | High School Teacher | (Level 3) Distinguished Educator

Posted on

The US never agrees to any of these treaties. We refuse to sign Kyoto, even though we talk about environmental issues and how important they are to us. We also refuse to sign an agreement to ban the death penalty for minors, even though we consider ourselves leaders in human rights. We don't want to ban land mines, because we want to be able to use them ourselves should we decide to (while we pollute and kill our kids, apparently).
pohnpei397's profile pic

pohnpei397 | College Teacher | (Level 3) Distinguished Educator

Posted on

My understanding is that the US's refusal to join on a full international ban on land mines is based on worries about the Demilitarized Zone between North and South Korea.  The US feels that land mines are needed to keep North Korea from invading South Korea.

The US has said that it will not sign the ban until it can figure out some effective way to protect South Korea or until North Korea is no longer a threat.  The idea here is that North Korea has so many troops and the border is so close to South Korea's capitol of Seoul.  Without land mines, the US feels, it would be impossible to prevent an invasion of South Korea with the number of troops that the US and South Korea have.

You can see this logic in the following quote from the jmu.edu link

While landmines continue to maim and kill large numbers of civilians around the world, they can, through deterrence, prevent war, in particular by protecting American and South Korean forces and civilians from being attacked by North Korea, thereby avoiding thousands of potential casualties.

firekeeper's profile pic

firekeeper | (Level 1) eNoter

Posted on

Mines have only limited effect in preventing military incursion.  Even during wartime, less than half the casualties of mines are military, as war ends or moves away from a mined area the civilian casualties rise radically.  This treaty was denied during a periods when the Legislative branch of government was held by the party with the greatest financial ties to military contractors.

william1941's profile pic

william1941 | College Teacher | (Level 3) Valedictorian

Posted on

The US for a long time was actively involved in campaigning to put a stop to the use of landmines during war as they cause more civilian injuries after the war is over. A global consensus was finally reached on this matter in 1997, a treaty to stop the use of landmines was framed and it has been signed by all the nations except 37 which include the US.

Why the US refuses to stop the use of landmines is unclear as every reason that has been used to ratify the continuation of their use has be countered with a rational argument. And the US is familiar with the damage that landmines cause, over 30% of injuries caused to the US armed forces in Iraq can be attributed to landmines.

I guess is it just a lack of political will that has led to the continued use of landmines.

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