Reaction To The White House Announcement Of Changes To U.S. Anti-Personnel Landmine Policy

“It is an important step which makes official what has been de facto U.S. practice for two decades.  The Administration has recognized what our NATO allies declared long ago:  Inherently indiscriminate weapons that disproportionately harm civilians have no place in the 21st Century, and those who use them – like Russia in Ukraine today – should be universally condemned.  I commend President Biden for taking this step, which further aligns U.S. policy with the international treaty.  It mirrors bipartisan legislation cosponsored 27 years ago by 57 Senators, including key Democrats and Republicans in the Senate today.

“The Department of Defense should be directed to move expeditiously in fully implementing and institutionalizing the policy.  This is long overdue recognition that the grave humanitarian and political costs of using these weapons far exceed their limited military utility.

“As welcome as this step is, the White House needs to put the U.S. on a definitive path to join the treaties banning anti-personnel mines and cluster munitions.  Neither of these indiscriminate weapons, the horrific consequences of which we are seeing in Ukraine today, belong in the arsenals of civilized nations.”