Stockpiles of antipersonnel landmines are still considered to be among the main reasons for killing civil population. The warfare tactics is efficient, but the post-war period points to the increased threat for the citizens to become the victims of landmines that had not been destroyed. Most of the countries are realizing the causalities of this weapon for their people.
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Therefore, they agreed to sign the Mine Ban Treaty, an international agreement that seeks to eliminate antipersonnel landmines through destruction of stockpiles and mine clearance. However, strong history of such power-state as USA, Russia, China and many other countries originating predominantly from the Middle and Far East excluded them from the list of signatory countries for a number of reasons.
These strongly developed economies, therefore, create a serious challenge for ratifying the Treaty on their territories.
Nevertheless, it is possible to introduce shifts to the American, Russian, and Chinese policy if the MBT achieves the status of international law imposing certain obligations on these countries in terms of their reputation as humanitarian nations, as well as their commitment to shaping a peaceful international community.
Officially efficient on March 1, 1999, the Ottawa Treaty, or Mine Band Treaty (MBT), has become a threshold for the majority of the world’s community members (Good 220). It bans the production, trade and storage of anti-personnel landmines and seeks to eliminate the risks of the weapon for peaceful population. Since the Treaty reinforcement, the global rates of landmine stockpiles have changed rapidly.
At the end of the 1990s, more than 130 countries stockpiled antipersonnel landmines. Currently, there are only 40 states stockpiling landmine, which led to about 4,000 causalities in 2009 (Good 221). As a result, due to the fact that over 75 % of the world’s communities are signatories to the Mine Ban Treaty, the non-signatory states have been so affected that they behave in accordance with the agreement goals and provisions.
Rationale for Eliminating Landmines
The failure of the U.S. authorities to sign the MBT at the very beginning was explained by ex-president Clinton’s assumption that “landmines’ limited military utility does not outweigh their humanitarian effect” (Good 223).
The U.S. government policy, therefore, points to the American exceptionalism because it constantly resists the strategies introduced by the world community. Nevertheless, the international campaign should continue developing new policies and agreements that could undermine the reputation of power-state and make them recognize the inconsistency of their political and military ideology.
Although landmines are not created for killing victims, the high rates of causalities prove that it is possible. In wartime, however, this weapon is supposed to cause extreme pain as well as physical and emotional pressure. These underground bombs are preferred during military actions because they are much cheaper than other weapon, but not less efficient (Hansen 365).
However, clearance and stockpile destruction is another obstacle to eliminating landmines in terms of cost allocation. Therefore, dealing with landmines is a serious challenge due to several reasons. First, survival campaign is introduced through increase in assisting doctors, humanitarian aid, and improvement of medical facilities.
The reinforcement of landmine destruction policies could be carried out in mine-affected states. Finally, a comprehensive ban on production, utilization, stockpiling, and transport of the weapon can be institutionalized as soon as it reaches the level of international law.
Currently, a comprehensive intervention is now on the global agenda and it continues its progress. In order to reinforce the influence of MBT on non-signatory states, it is necessary to resort to efficient methods of conflict resolutions. The methods can specifically concern various political, cultural, and social backgrounds that could introduce more perspectives for engagement.
Opposition to the Claim
There is assumption that introducing landmines restriction does not serve as a powerful incentive for the state to abolish the utilization and production of the weapon. This is of particular concern to Eastern countries who strong belief system serves as a shield for the globally integrated policies.
The Western world is also in opposition to the weapon destruction because of the potential threats coming from developing world. In particular, the U.S. government does not find it reasonable to invest into the destruction and elimination of landmines as long as it produces not potential risk to the civil population.
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Despite the reluctance of the Western and Eastern power-states to abolish the use of landmines, their conservative policies can prevent them from moving forward toward globalization and strengthening their position in the world community (Matthew and Rutherford 30).
For instance, because the United States is presented as a rigorous fighter for human rights, equalities, and freedom, the country should be aware of the negative consequences the landmines stockpiling and production can have for their humanitarian policy.
In conclusion, the strong impact of the MBT on the majority of the state-parties can be reinforced as soon as other power-states join the treaty.
Therefore, further development of campaigns against landmines could be enhanced with the focus on international laws protecting human rights and improving security and protection of the civil population. Banning antipersonnel landmines and organizing campaigns for achieving this goal is especially crucial with regard to moral, socio-economic, diplomatic, and humanitarian reasons.
Good, Rachel. “Yes We Should: Why The U.S. Should Change Its Policy Toward The 1997 Mine Ban Treaty.” Journal Of International Human Rights, vol. 9, no. 2, 2011, pp. 209-229.
Hansen, Toran. “The Campaign to Ban Landmines.” Peace Review, vol. 16, no. 3, 2004, pp. 365-370.
Matthew, Richard A., and Kenneth R. Rutherford. “The Evolutionary Dynamics of the Movement to Ban Landmines.” Alternatives: Global, Local, Political, vol. 1, 2003, pp. 29-56.