U.S. Landmine Policy
On Friday, February 27, 2004, the new United States policy on landmines was announced. This policy is a significant departure from past approaches to landmines. It ensures protection for both military forces and civilians alike, and continues U.S. leadership in humanitarian mine action -- those activities that contribute most directly toward eliminating the landmine problem and mitigating its effects on landmine survivors. Under the new policy, the United States will:
- eliminate all persistent landmines from its arsenal;
- continue to develop non-persistent (self-destructing/self-deactivating) landmines that will not pose a humanitarian threat after use in battle;
- continue to research and develop enhancements to the current self-destructing/self-deactivating landmine technology in order to develop and preserve military capabilities that address the United States transformational goals;
- seek a worldwide ban on the sale or export of all persistent landmines;
- get rid of its non-detectable mines within one year;
- only employ persistent anti-vehicle mines outside of Korea between now and 2010, if needed, when authorized by the President;
- not use any persistent landmines -- neither anti-personnel nor anti-vehicle -- anywhere after 2010;
- begin the destruction within two years of those persistent landmines not needed for the protection of Korea;
- seek a 50 percent increase in the U.S. Department of State's portion of the U.S. Humanitarian Mine Action Program over Fiscal Year 2003 baseline levels to $70 million a year.
Further information about the new United States policy may be found in the following documents:
- Fact sheet: New United States Policy on Landmines: Reducing Humanitarian Risk and Saving Lives of United States Soldiers.
- On-the-Record briefing by Special Representative Bloomfield: New Developments in the U.S. Approach to Landmines.
- Landmine Policy White Paper.
- Frequently Asked Questions on the New Landmine Policy.
- Op-Ed by Special Representative Bloomfield, published in the Financial Times.