U.S. Marine Corps Staff Sgt. Austin French shows Royal Thai explosive ordnance disposal technicians how to build a cofferdam around an emplaced landmine during Cobra Gold 19 Feb. 19, 2019 in Thailand. (U.S. Marine Corps photo by Cpl. Jamin M. Powell)

Trump Administration Loosens Obama-Era Restrictions on Land Mine Use

The Trump administration has lifted a ban on the U.S. military’s use of anti-personnel land mines outside of the Korean Peninsula. In a statement released Friday, the White House said the ban — implemented under the Obama administration — interfered with the president’s “steadfast commitment to ensuring our forces are able to defend against any and all threats.”

“The Department of Defense has determined that restrictions imposed on American forces by the Obama Administration’s policy could place them at a severe disadvantage during a conflict against our adversaries,” said press secretary Stephanie Grisham. “The President is unwilling to accept this risk to our troops.”

In its statement, the administration said a new Defense Department policy will lay out how and when, “in exceptional circumstances,” U.S. military commanders can deploy land mines equipped with self-destruct/self-deactivation mechanisms.

Read more at NPR

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