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IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Release No: 245-97
May 15, 1997

DoD RELEASES STATUS REPORT ON ANTI-PERSONNEL LANDMINES

The Department of Defense today released its Status Report on DoD's Implementation of the U.S. Anti-Personnel Landmine (APL) Policy. This report, prepared for the Secretary of Defense, discusses DoD's accomplishments thus far in response to the Secretary's direction to implement the APL policy announced by President Clinton on May 16, 1996.

The comprehensive APL policy directs that the United States seek an international agreement to ban the use, stockpiling, production, and transfer of APL. The policy also directs the elimination of three million non-self-destructing APL from the U.S. inventory; prohibits the use of non-self-destructing APL; and directs fundamental changes in war plans, doctrine, and tactics of the U.S. military with the goal of eliminating, reliance on APL. In addition, the President directed a significant expansion of the DoD role in humanitarian demining and necessary research and development to support humanitarian demining.

DoD's implementation of the U.S. APL policy is on schedule, and significant progress has been made. In a memorandum forwarding a copy of the status report to the National Security Council, Secretary Cohen stated, This subject has generated much interest and concern nationally, as well as internationally. My staff intends to report to me on the status of APL policy implementation every six months.

In the one year since the U.S. APL policy announcement, DoD has made significant head-way in several major areas:

Reach an APL Ban: The Department of Defense is working closely with other government agencies and the international community to pursue a global APL ban through the Conference on Disarmament. One of the top U.S. priorities in the 1997 Conference on Disarmament session is to establish an ad hoc committee with a negotiating mandate to ban APL. To give further impetus to this effort, on January 17, the President decided to take two additional unilateral steps: a permanent ban on APL export and transfer, and a stockpile cap at current inventory levels.

Begin Research and Procurement of Alternatives: The Department has begun an aggressive research and development program to provide effective APL alternatives which will ultimately permit the United States to end its reliance on APLs.

Revise Doctrine. Revision and modification of doctrine by the Services and the review of war and contingency plans to reflect the changes necessitated by the U.S. APL policy are on schedule.

Demilitarize Non-Self-Destructing APL. Except for the purposes of training and defense of the Korean Demilitarized Zone, non- self-destructing APLs are being removed from actual stocks; this effort is approximately 80 percent complete at this time. To date, approximately 888,000 non-self-destructing APLs have been destroyed.

Expand Humanitarian Demining Research and Development. APL detection and removal have been accelerated by providing meaningful, short-term improvements to current equipment to meet the program users' needs. Several prototypes already have been fielded in Bosnia, Cambodia, Laos, and Rwanda, with additional projects to be fielded within the next two years.

Expand Humanitarian Demining Operations. The number of countries eligible to establish their own Humanitarian Demining Programs has increased from 12 in FY 1996 to 14 in FY 1997, with 10 additional countries being considered. During the same period, the number of DoD personnel deployed for humanitarian demining operations has increased by 77 percent; the number of indigenous forces trained has increased by 133 percent; and the dollar value of equipment transferred has increased by 32 percent.

The Status Report on DoD's Implementation of the U.S. Anti- Personnel Landmine (APL) Policy will be accessible via the internet on DefenseLINK under "publications" at: http://www .dtic.mil/pubs/landmines/