Vermont Public is independent, community-supported media, serving Vermont with trusted, relevant and essential information. We share stories that bring people together, from every corner of our region. New to Vermont Public? Start here.

© 2024 Vermont Public | 365 Troy Ave. Colchester, VT 05446

Public Files:
WVTI · WOXM · WVBA · WVNK · WVTQ · WVTX
WVPR · WRVT · WOXR · WNCH · WVPA
WVPS · WVXR · WETK · WVTB · WVER
WVER-FM · WVLR-FM · WBTN-FM

For assistance accessing our public files, please contact hello@vermontpublic.org or call 802-655-9451.
Play Live Radio
Next Up:
0:00
0:00
0:00 0:00
Available On Air Stations

Explore our coverage of government and politics.

Leahy: New U.S. Land Mine Policy A Good Step, But Not Enough

Sen. Patrick Leahy, who earlier this week criticized President Barack Obama's failure to join an international treaty banning land mines, is happy with a new U.S. policy not to acquire any new land mines, but says it doesn't go far enough.

Since 1999, 161 countries have signed on to the treaty, but Leahy's persistent urging for the U.S. to join have gone unheeded by every president since.

The new move by the Obama Administration doesn't call for the destruction of the existing U.S. land mine stockpile. And that's where Leahy says progress could be made.

Leahy's statement:

This step is incremental, but it is significant, because it finally makes official policy what has been informal fact for a decade and a half. By officially ending the U.S. production and purchase of new antipersonnel mines, and resurrecting President Clinton’s directive to the Pentagon to find alternative solutions, the White House once and for all has put the United States on a path to join the treaty. An obvious next step is for the Pentagon to destroy its remaining stockpile of mines, which do not belong in the arsenal of civilized nations.

According to a report in The New York Times:

The United States has not disclosed precise details about the size of its stockpile. Arms control experts have estimated it to be between 10 million and 13 million.

The White House, in its announcement, adds that the new directive is designed to ultimately bring the U.S. into compliance with the treaty, though it did not announce a target date for that goal.

Taylor was VPR's digital reporter from 2013 until 2017. After growing up in Vermont, he graduated with at BA in Journalism from Northeastern University in 2013.
Latest Stories