Join the Mine Ban Treaty Now--FCNL Letter to POTUS
By Joe Volk on 11/08/2010 @ 12:18 AM
FCNL sent a letter to the President of the United States (POTUS) today. We called on President Obama to join the global Mine Ban Treaty now. Here is the letter:
Dear President Obama:
We urge you to sign the Mine Ban Treaty and submit it to the U.S. Senate for ratification at the earliest possible date.
When he was Secretary General of the United Nations, Kofi Annan described landmines as “weapons of mass destruction in slow motion.” These indiscriminate weapons, which are designed to maim with maximum suffering, have been outlawed by the world community.
Today, the United States continues to stand outside that treaty community as one of the countries slowing efforts to eliminate these weapons that maim individuals, wreck families, and burden communities for generations. The United States has virtually ended its use of landmines and has made major contributions to landmine removal and victim assistance. The time has long passed for the United States to take a stand with humanitarian states and to leave the company of those problem states which continue to claim the right to use these cruel weapons.
We commend your initiation of a comprehensive, interagency review of U.S. landmine policy. We cannot expect the U.S. military voluntarily to give up any weapon. U.S. civilian control of the military means that civilian officials set the boundaries and the rules. Whether landmines have military utility or not, they should be banned by the U.S. government. We also know from talking with military officials that many in the military would prefer to ban landmines, since these weapons also harm U.S. soldiers and impede the U.S. military’s own rapidly mobile operations.
When you accepted the Nobel Peace Prize in 2009, you said, “I am convinced that adhering to standards, international standards, strengthens those who do, and isolates and weakens those who don’t.” We agree. Therefore, we urge you to strengthen the United States by signing the Mine Ban Treaty now.
Joe Volk, Executive Secretary
Secretary Hillary Rodham Clinton, Department of State; Secretary Robert M. Gates, Department of Defense; Thomas E. Donilon, National Security Advisor