According to the most recent U.S. State Department assessments, the total number of landmines in the ground has dropped to 45 to 50 million in 60 countries, down from their initial estimate of 80 to 110 million landmines worldwide in 1999. But the actual number is less important than their impact: each year, 24,000 people are killed or injured by landmines and just a few landmines make land unusable. According to the International Campaign to Ban Landmines (ICBL), the United States has an enormous stockpile of landmines in Korea, including come 1.2 million M16 and M14 dumb mines. Afghanistan is probably the most mined country in the world, with estimates of up to 640,000 mines laid since 1979. And while newer so-called smart mines are readily available, most combatants prefer the use of dumb mines because of their low cost and ease of use.
The readings in this coursepack focus on landmines and their effects.
The Landmine Ban: A Case Study in Humanitarian Advocacy
Thomas J. Watson Institute for International Studies
This study provides a detailed account of the emergence and development of the campaign to ban land mines from initial attempts to restrict landmines in the 1970s, through the birth of the international nongovernmental organization campaign in the early 1990s, to the signing of the Landmines Convention in December 1997. It also provides a thorough assessment of the key factors accounting for their success and a discussion of the broader significance of the campaign.
Virtual Activism: Survivors and the Mine Ban Treaty
Kenneth R. Rutherford
Georgetown Journal of International Affairs
This article exposes the crucial role land mine-survivors played in the international campaign to ban land mines.
U.S. Arms Control Policy in a Time Warp
Ethics and International Affairs, 2001
This highly critical article, Nancy Tannenwald demonstrates how US arms-control policy has not adjusted to the end of the Cold War.
Landmine Policy White Paper
This press release details the new US policy on Landmines.
The US Program to Remove Landmines
US Department of State
US Foreign Policy Agenda, January 2004
This report covers the many US programs to remove landmines.