#AceNewsServices – WASHINGTON – September 29 – The Obama administration has banned the U.S. military from using anti-personnel land-mines in a unilateral decision that goes against warnings from top military leaders and many in Congress.
The administration stated in a series of announcements this week that landmines will no longer be used and that the Defence Department would begin destroying stockpiles of the devices, which have historically been used to protect U.S. forces from enemies in war-zones.
The controversial executive decision, which comes as America steps up strikes against the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL or ISIS), has been in the works for some time despite protests from top U.S. military leaders, including the Joint Chiefs of Staff.
“The United States will not use anti-personnel landmines,” President Obama announced this week in New York City.
“So we will begin destroying our stockpiles not required for the defense of South Korea,” a military zone that the administration says poses unique challenges, according to Obama. “And we’re going to continue to work to find ways that would allow us to ultimately comply fully and accede to the Ottawa Convention,” a treaty banning landmines that the United States has not actually signed.
Obama’s announcement was criticized by leading lawmakers, who warned that the decision is not backed by U.S. military commanders who view the use of landmines as a key tool in the protection of American forces.
“It’s disappointing to see that, once again, the White House has overruled the advice of our military commanders,” Rep. Howard “Buck” McKeon (R., Calif.), chair of the House Armed Services Committee (HASC), said in a statement.