Infantry: December 15, 2002

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The U.S. plans to use landmines in Iraq, to defend US bases. The U.S., pressured by a worldwide movement to ban landmines, had agreed to stop using landmines anywhere except Korea by 2003. The anti-landmine movement began when it was noted that guerilla and terrorist organizations had increased their use of landmines in the last few decades. Russia also made wide use of landmines in Afghanistan during the 1980s to try and control hostile populations. A World War II innovation, millions of land mines had to be cleared from European and African and Asian battlefields after that war. Dud bombs and shells (that did not go off when they landed) are actually a larger hazard, with thousands from World War I still being discovered each year, often with fatal results, on European battlefields. The anti-landmine agreement was not signed by the dozens of guerilla movements that have always used them, and still do. The major supplier of landmines on the open market, Russia and China, have not signed either. The U.S. Army is one of the few landmine using organizations that is careful about noting where they are planted, and clearing them after the war is over.

 


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