Prohibits the development, production, possession, or use of biological weapons. Ratified by U.S. and 162 other countries. Problem: No inspections - so no way to enforce or to verify compliance. What You Need to Kow About Biological Weapons, 1952
2001 protocol requiring inspections of military and pharmaceutical facilities was rejected by Bush administration. Said inspections would expose U.S. secrets to enemies and rivals.
Wants to “revitalize” Biological Weapons Convention, but will not seek negotiations on verification and international enforce- ment. Same position that Bush took.
What are the three types of WMD? Which types of WMD are prohibited by existing disarmament treaties? Has the U.S. ratified both of these treaties? Why hasn’t the United States supported the Biological Weapons Protocol?
More than 70 million land mines are strewn across 90 countries around the world. In 2010, 1,200 people were killed and 3,800 wounded by landmines. Over 80% of the victims are civilians; between one third to one half of those killed are children. UN Anti-Landmine Commercial
Afghanistan, Angola and Cambodia have suffered 85 per cent of the world's land-mine casualties. Overall, African children live on the most mine- plagued continent, with an estimated 37 million mines embedded in at least 19 countries.
Treaty Provisions Total ban on production, export, and use of anti-personnel mines. Provides funding for the removal of existing land mines. Provides aid to the victims of land mines.
As of Sept. 2011, 159 countries have signed the Land Mine Treaty
President Clinton did NOT sign the treaty and the Bush administration didn’t support it either.
Why hasn’t the U.S. joined the landmine treaty? U.S. military uses landmines (almost 1 million!) in South Korea to protect South Korea and U.S. troops there from an invasion by North Korea. Military wants exemption for these mines.
Landmine Treaty took effect in 1999 without U.S. participation.
158 countries have now signed the Landmine Treaty. 2.2 million antipersonnel mines, 250,000 anti-vehicle mines, and 17 million other explosives have been removed. U.S. hasn’t used antipersonnel mines since the Gulf War in 1991, and stopped producing them in 1997 (We have a reserve stockpile of 10,000 mines).
Nov. 2009 – Obama administration announced decision that it would not sign the landmine treaty. “We would not be able to meet our national defense needs nor our security commitments to our allies.”
Human rights and disarmament groups reacted with shock and anger. 68 Senators (inc. ten Republicans ) have now signed letter to Obama supporting a review of U.S. policy on landmines. Reaction by Human Rights WatchReaction by Human Rights Watch 1 Human Rights Watch reaction 2
Bombs, artillery shells, and missiles that contain many smaller “bomblets,” as small as flashlight batteries. One cluster bomb can scatter hundreds of mini-explosives over an area the size of several football fields. Bombs that don’t explode can detonate at the slightest touch and pose huge risk to civilians.
New international law bans the use, manufacture, or stockpiling of most types of cluster bombs. 69 nations – including the U.S. – haven’t signed the ban. U.S. has used cluster bombs in Iraq and Afghanistan.
What is the main argument in support of a ban on land mines? Has the U.S. joined the Land Mine Treaty? Why does the U.S. military oppose the Land Mine Treaty? What is Obama’s position on the Land Mine Treaty? What are cluster bombs and why are they so dangerous? Explain the U.S. position on the international ban on the use of cluster bombs.