UPDATED 4:00 PM PT — Friday, January 31, 2020
The Trump administration is rolling back restrictions on the military’s use of land mines. On Thursday, President Trump cancelled the Obama-era policy, which has been banned by more than 100 countries.
The decision reversed a 2014 policy that limited the use of explosive devices to the Korean Peninsula. The new rule will apply to “advanced, non-persistent” landmines that are “specifically designed to reduce unintended harm to civilians and partner forces.”
New #landmine policy will authorize combatant commanders, “in exceptional circumstances, to employ advanced, non-persistent landmines specifically designed to reduce unintended harm to civilians and partner forces,” says @PressSec in statement. pic.twitter.com/MgH89xwaXV
— Steve Herman (@W7VOA) January 31, 2020
During Thursday’s press conference with his Italian counterpart, Defense Secretary Mark Esper called land mines an important tool for military forces.
“Landmines are one of very many other important tools that our commanders need to have available to them on the battlefield to shape the battlefield and to protect our forces,” stated Esper. “At the end the day, we want to make sure that we have all the tools in our toolkit, that are legally available and effective, to ensure our success and to ensure the protection of our soldiers, sailors, airmen and marines.”
Italy is a steadfast partner and friend, and we share a strong bond on the foundation of advancing security and stability. Honored to host MinDef @guerini_lorenzo for talks on our mutual interests, and to thank his nation for hosting U.S. forces. pic.twitter.com/wUDpzfHgjj
— Secretary of Defense Dr. Mark T. Esper (@EsperDoD) January 31, 2020
He went on to say the administration’s policy is a part of the president’s commitment to ensure “our forces are able to defend against any and all threats.”