Former US Mine Action Czars Call on Obama to Join Ottawa and Oslo Treaties

Two former Special Representatives to the US President and Secretaries of State for Global Humanitarian Demining, Donald Steinberg and Karl F. Inderfurth, have called on President Barack Obama to sign the treaties banning anti-personnel landmines and cluster munitions.

Calling the US a “conspicuous holdout to both treaties”, they wrote that they “see no compelling reasons for the U.S. not to sign these treaties now” in an opinion column for the Baltimore Sun.  They said former President Bush’s arguments against signing the treaties were “unconvincing” and that Obama should chart a new course.

They recognized that Obama has “many urgent issues on his plate and does not need a contentious fight with the skeptics.”  Steinburg and Inderfurth thus recommended setting up a “commission to consider U.S. adherence to these two treaties….”

“It will take some changes in military doctrine and practice, but the benefits will be manifold,” they said. “Chief among them is the powerful signal it will send to the world of the new president’s commitment to re-engage with the international community to address global problems. Equally important, it will help permit future generations to walk the earth without fear.”

To read their article, click here.

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~ by Matthew Bolton on 23 April 2009.

One Response to “Former US Mine Action Czars Call on Obama to Join Ottawa and Oslo Treaties”

  1. This should be good. All you have to do (giggle!) is convince the US military that letting more of their own soldiers die in combat to save a hypothetical noncombatant in the future is a good thing. Selling ice in the artic may be easier.

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