Nowadays, landmines gain more and more popularity being a controversial military tool that is able to kill hundreds of civilian people. Most states have decided to sign the Ottawa Mine Ban Treaty that is supposed to stop the landmine use in various conflicts throughout the world. The USA, however, did not take part in this treaty so that the prospects of being engaged in the war in Iraq leave much to be expected. The USA should make a conscious decision whether they want to use landmines as a tool of combating Iraqi terrorists or not.
In order to achieve this goal, the USA has to think over the pros and cons of landmines used in various military operations including the war in Iraq. The USA should take into account the possible humanitarian consequences of using landmines in the predicted conflict. In fact, the use of landmines is associated with a number of positive and negative sides.
Among the negative sides of landmines is the fact that they lead to a humanitarian disaster as they are able to kill numerous people at a time, most of whom are usually civilian citizens. This will facilitate the need to provide humanitarian aid to those populations who are most vulnerable to such kind of military measures. Such a measure violates the conditions of the above-mentioned treaty in terms of using landmines against innocent civil citizens. The USA should think over the probability of participating in the Mine Ban Treaty in order to avoid negative consequences of its military operations. The major disadvantage of the landmines’ use is the fact that such a weapon is likely to cause much harm to the civilian population of Iraq and other countries.
Landmines are used for several reasons. Basically, they are used as a protective measure in case there is a threat that the well-being of the country will be violated. This aspect can be considered a positive side of using landmines because in this case such kind of weapon is used as a means of defense. Furthermore, some types of landmines are oriented towards disorganizing the other side’s military forces or protecting the country from the attack of the enemy. Furthermore, one more positive side of landmines is that they are able to distort the communication lines in order to disorganize the forces of the enemy. Overall, landmines used in the military operations provide various advantages, including the tactical one, although sometimes it is quite risky to use them.
On the other hand, it is argued that landmines lead to the deaths of numerous civil citizens, which contradicts the law of war. Unlike other kinds of weapons, such arms may be found in the ground even after the military conflict has already ended. This leads to crippling or killing of civil citizens especially in the poor and undeveloped countries. It might take years for such countries to get rid of landmines that have remained in the ground after the war.
Furthermore, it is claimed that the Ottawa Mine Ban Treaty saved numerous innocent lives. It is so because the number of states manufacturing landmines has decreased from around 50 to nearly 15. The sales of this type of arms have been stopped, and most mines hidden in the ground have been eliminated. Various countries have also provided medical services to numerous victims of this weapon. What is more, the rates of casualties have also been decreased to around 15,000 people a year. However, a great number of people continue to experience various economic, agricultural, psychological and other outcomes of the landmine use in military affairs. Thus, the issue of whether it is liable to use such a weapon during the war is still under discussion.