On 31 January 2020, the US Department of Defense announced its intent to roll-back Obama-era landmine policy, allowing for the US to use landmines anywhere in the world. The previous 2014 Obama-era policy banned US production and acquisition of antipersonnel landmines and prohibited their use outside of the Korean peninsula. The new Trump administration policy reverses this decision, instead allowing for US development, production, and use of antipersonnel landmines anywhere in the world, as long as they are “non-persistent,” that is, equipped with self-destruct and self-deactivation features.
The US last used antipersonnel mines in 1991, has not exported them since 1992, has not produced them since 1997, and has destroyed millions of stockpiled mines. The US does not maintain any minefields globally.
The US Campaign to Ban Landmines condemns the Trump administration’s decision and urges the White House and Department of Defense (DOD) to reconsider and take steps to join the 1997 Mine Ban Treaty. We urge Congress to take immediate measures to block the deployment of landmines and prohibit the development, production, or other acquisition of new antipersonnel landmines.
You can read the US Campaign to Ban Landmine’s Joint Statement here.
For more information, see Human Rights Watch, “Question and Answers on the New US Landmine Policy,” 27 February 2020.