Friday, December 8, 2023

NDAA provision would unnecessarily delay landmine stockpile destruction.

Section 1050 of the conference report version of the fiscal year 2024 National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) would unnecessarily delay the destruction of anti-personnel landmine stockpiles until the Secretary of Defense provides a report to Congress, thereby preventing implementation of the 2022 U.S. Anti-Personnel Landmine Policy - a policy based on a comprehensive review with the Defense Department and others in the interagency. Anti-personnel landmines are “designed to be exploded by the presence, proximity or contact of a person and that will incapacitate, injure or kill one or more persons.” As they cannot distinguish between civilians and combatants, are difficult to safely remove, and often fail to self-destruct or self-deactivate, these landmines continue to disproportionately inflict suffering and death on civilians, and especially children, long after a conflict ends. The destruction of U.S. stockpiles, supported by policies established under Presidents Bill Clinton, George W. Bush, Barack Obama, and Joe Biden, must not be further delayed.