(JustPatriots.com)- On Tuesday, the Biden administration took steps to virtually eliminate the use of landmines by the US military, reversing a Trump-era policy that loosened restrictions on anti-personnel mines.
Under the new policy changes ordered by the White House, the United States will no longer develop, produce, acquire, export, or transfer anti-personnel mines. The use of mines by the US military will no longer be permitted under any circumstances, except along the DMZ between North and South Korea.
White House National Security Council spokeswoman Adrienne Watson said in a statement on Monday that Russia’s use of anti-personnel landmines has shown the “devastating impact” on civilians “and civilian objects.” Watson said the president is committed to making the United States the “world’s leader in mitigating the harmful consequences” of landmines worldwide.
The president directed the United States to bring its policy on landmine use into alignment with the provisions of the 1997 Ottawa Treaty to eliminate the use of anti-personnel mines around the world. However, the president’s order exempted the Korean Peninsula, citing the “unique circumstances” that exist between North and South Korea.
The United States is one of the countries that did not sign the 1997 Ottawa Treaty.
The president will also order the Department of Defense to look for alternatives to anti-personnel landmines that would allow the United States to join the Ottawa Convention.
In early 2020, the Trump administration relaxed an Obama-era ban on the use of anti-personnel mines by the US military, arguing that the prohibition put US troops at a disadvantage. The 2020 policy permitted military commanders to order the deployment of mines under “exceptional circumstances” around the globe.
With Tuesday’s order, the Biden administration has reverted to the Obama-era policy.
During the 2020 election, Joe Biden campaigned on promising to roll back the Trump-era policy which he claimed was reckless because it put the lives of civilians at unnecessary risk.