By Leon Sigal
Opposed to all odds, the overseas crusade to prohibit Landmines helped to enact an international treaty banning antipersonnel mines in 1997. For that fulfillment it used to be presented the Nobel Peace Prize. during this quantity, Leon Sigal indicates how a handful of NGOs with virtually no mass base bought greater than a hundred international locations to outlaw a weapon that their armies had lengthy used. it's a tale of intrigue and misperception, of clashing norms and pursuits, of contentious bureaucratic and family politics. it's also a narrative of potent management, of sustained dedication to a reason, of alliances among campaigners and executive officers, of a US senator who championed the ban, and of the skilful use of the scoop media. regardless of this enormous attempt, the crusade didn't get the U.S. to signal the treaty. Drawing on broad inner files and interviews with US officers and ban campaigners, Sigal tells the tale of the in-fighting contained in the Clinton management, within the Pentagon, and in the ban crusade itself that resulted in this significant setback for an in a different way unparalleled, winning international attempt. Negotiating Minefields might be of curiosity to scholars and students of army and strategic reviews and politics and diplomacy.
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The Leahy bill convinced the military that an export moratorium could soon become permanent. It also aroused the leading US exporter of landmines, Alliant Techsystems. “The military came in and talked to us,” says Newsom. ” They had a point, Newsom acknowledges. “Frankly, I was sympathetic to their argument that the selfdestructing antipersonnel landmines were much less of a threat to civilians than the ‘dumb’ mines most countries used. But these high-tech APLs were expensive and complicated and there wasn’t much of a foreign market for them.
The choice of weapons to develop, procure, and deploy was usually determined by the armed services in collaboration with defense contractors, occasionally by civilians in the Defense Department or members of Congress eager to bring home defense contracts. The same players dominated arms control. The United States did agree to negotiated limits on nuclear and conventional weapons, but seldom over the determined opposition of the armed services. Global bans were negotiated on chemical and biological weapons, but, according to the conventional wisdom in Washington, the armed services had found these weapons difficult to deploy advantageously and were willing to give them up.
44 Leahy’s staff, not the NGOs, inspired Albright’s initial efforts at the United Nations. “At this point I was not fully aware of the parallel work being done on the NGO side by Bobby Muller and Jody Williams,” says Inderfurth. ” Through Leahy, Inderfurth forged links with the NGOs. ”45 Albright and Leahy began to collaborate on landmines. ” He had his legislative director, Eric Newsom, take up the issue with Inderfurth. The two, who had worked together on Capitol Hill, discussed having Leahy lobby for the moratorium at the United Nations.