Recently the Global Campaign was asked to write an op-ed column for breakingdefense.com. During preparation of the column we were asked to clarify the relationship between landmines and IEDs. This question arose specifically in the context of U.S. House Resolution 190 and our observation that the United Nations issues an annual resolution condemning landmines.
We are publishing this Blog post to give our answer to this question wider distribution and a permanent link for future reference.
Landmines and IEDs are not the same. Unlike landmines, IEDs are not covered under a current international treaty that bans their use. There is also a fundamental difference between the International Committee to Ban Landmines (ICBL) and the Global Campaign against IEDS. The efforts of the Global Campaign are directed at those who use IEDs for terror and violence and not toward the actions of any legitimate nation. In email communications with the Global Campaign, the ICBL has indicated that IEDs are beyond the scope of their efforts except those that are victim-activated and banned by treaty.
There is however one point at which the landmine and IED issues converge. That is when landmines are used as components in IEDs. This happens when abandoned mine stocks are left uncontrolled and find their way into the black market.
Now back to U.S. House Resolution 190 ... supporting this resolution and condemning IEDs will not change anyone’s position on landmines or infer any type of altered ban on their use.