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Old 11-24-2009, 10:50 PM   #1
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Default U.S. will not join treaty banning landmines

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WASHINGTON (Reuters) President Barack Obama has no plans to join a global treaty banning landmines because a policy review found the United States could not meet its security commitments without them, the State Department said on Tuesday.

"This administration undertook a policy review and we decided that our land mine policy remains in effect," spokesman Ian Kelly told a briefing five days before a review conference in Cartegena, Colombia on the 10-year-old Mine Ban Treaty.

"We determined that we would not be able to meet our national defense needs nor our security commitments to our friends and allies if we signed this convention," he said.

It was the first time the administration had publicly disclosed the decision.

The treaty bans the use, stockpiling, production or transfer of antipersonnel mines. It has been endorsed by 156 countries, but the United States, Russia, China and India have not adopted it.

U.S. Senator Patrick Leahy, a leading advocate for the treaty, called the decision "a default of U.S. leadership."

"It is a lost opportunity for the United States to show leadership instead of joining with China and Russia and impeding progress," Leahy, a Vermont Democrat, said in a statement.

Landmines are known to have caused 5,197 casualties last year, a third of them children, according to the Nobel Prize-winning International Campaign to Ban Landmines (ICBL), which links some 1,000 activist groups.

The United States generally abides by the provisions of the treaty. It has not used antipersonnel mines since the 1991 Gulf War, has not exported any since 1992 and has not produced them since 1997, Steve Goose, director of the Arms Division of Human Rights Watch, told a briefing on Monday.

The review conference next Sunday is expected to draw more than 1,000 delegates representing more than 100 countries, including ministers and heads of state.

It will look at the progress of a broadly popular treaty that has helped cut land mine casualties around the world and provided relief to victims.

Kelly said the United States would send humanitarian mine relief experts from the State Department, Defense Department, U.S. Agency for International Development and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention to observe the conference.

"As a global provider of security, we have an interest in the discussions there," Kelly said. "But we will be there as an observer, obviously, because we haven't signed the convention, nor do we plan to sign the convention."

http://news.yahoo.com/s/nm/us_usa_arms_landmines
I don't get it. If the US hasn't used or sold any landmines since the 1st Gulf War, why wouldn't they join the treaty? Besides isn't it 1 of the most used weapons against the US & NATO forces in Iraq & Afghanistan? As 4 Russia & China I could understand it. But the US (& India)?
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Old 11-24-2009, 11:39 PM   #2
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Default Re: U.S. will not join treaty banning landmines

why commit yourself to it if EVERYBODY isn't going to ? the US already fights wars with one hand behind the back with goofy policies that the enemies DON'T have. why add more ? i mean muslims have no reserves about blowing up mosques, so why should we ? you can't fight an ethical war against people that have none. you'll lose everytime.
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Old 11-25-2009, 01:21 AM   #3
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Default Re: U.S. will not join treaty banning landmines

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why commit yourself to it if EVERYBODY isn't going to ? the US already fights wars with one hand behind the back with goofy policies that the enemies DON'T have. why add more ? i mean muslims have no reserves about blowing up mosques, so why should we ? you can't fight an ethical war against people that have none. you'll lose everytime.
Bingo.

Matter of fact, If I remember right, we have a number of places that are still landmined and actively kept that way, like surrounding Gitmo, on the line of N. Korea, etc.
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Old 11-25-2009, 10:40 AM   #4
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Default Re: U.S. will not join treaty banning landmines

Why not sign?

One word: Korea.

We own pretty much the world's largest single minefield, sitting in the Korean DMZ, which is one of the first lines of defense against ground invasion from North Korea.
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Old 11-25-2009, 03:31 PM   #5
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Default Re: U.S. will not join treaty banning landmines

I must admit, I'm impressed. The easy thing to do is to read the sensationalism attached with landmines and sign off on a treaty that a great number of countries are signing on with. Obama is not doing that. Kudos to the CiC for thinking like a CiC should...
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Old 11-26-2009, 07:27 PM   #6
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Default Re: U.S. will not join treaty banning landmines

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Kudos to the CiC for thinking like a CiC should...
He doesn't realize they're the "exploding kind".

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