Argument: Landmines kill soldiers and limit mobility of military planting them

Issue Report: Mine Ban Treaty (Ottawa Treaty)


Susannah Sirkin and Gina Coplon-Newfeld. “US Should Sign Treaty Banning Land Mines”. Boston Globe. August 11, 2000: “the cost to US forces of not adopting this treaty is steep. Our own modern mixed mine systems, combinations of antipersonnel and antitank land mines, proved in the Persian Gulf War a deadly hazard to American troops, especially those, like the 82d Airborne, deployed by parachute. According to Pentagon casualty estimates, 34 percent of US casualties in that conflict were mine-related.”

Jody Williams. “Ban land mines and cluster bombs.” Boston Globe. April 13, 2009: “Now, with war impending, the US has an important policy decision to make: Will it use land mines in its military operations again? It is ironic that any US operation in Iraq will have to contend with the snares of its own land mines – both those already in the ground and any new ones emplaced. But beyond the military pros and cons of using land mines, the US must also consider their humanitarian impact.

[…] However, even with clear-cut rationales for using land mines, some US commanders were fearful that their own mines would endanger friendly forces and decrease battlefield mobility. In fact, as in all previous wars, US troops were not immune to the dangers of land mines in the Gulf War. Of the 1,364 US casualties in the Gulf War, 81 – 6 percent – were caused by land mines.”