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Re: DSII Question- Obstacles

From: agoodall@s... (Allan Goodall)
Date: Sun, 22 Feb 1998 04:46:20 GMT
Subject: Re: DSII Question- Obstacles

On Sat, 21 Feb 1998 19:38:14 -0600, (Jim 'Jiji'
Foster) wrote:

>The latest Soldier of Fortune magazine came up with about the same
>summation: 'Gosh what a nice idea, but none of the world's largest
>mine-producing or using nations have signed on. Oh, and lets not forget
>that it would take the worlds demo tech well into the next century just
>clear out the ones already out there....'

The mine ban treaty was more political than anything else. In the case
of two countries at war with each other, neither is going to stop
using anti-personnel mines. In cases where two nations have defended
borders but aren't necessarily nasty to each other, this treaty will
let both forces pull up or stop deploying anti-personnel mines,
whereas a bilateral treaty between the two nations is unlikely.
Finally, it should allow the UN to impose sanctions on nations that
start purchasing mines later, such as in the case of a nation that's
government has been overthrown by a military dictatorship.

The treaty isn't a be-all and end-all decision. Little is where
diplomacy is concerned. This is really just a first step, and as such
it's a good one.

One thing about the American decision not to sign it is that the US
has managed to hurt its standing on the world stage. While the US may
think of itself as the world's policeman, other countries (in
particular Canada, which was the nation that pushed the treaty) have
gained some stature in the Third World. This won't help the US' image
in peacekeeping especially after the Somalia debacle.

And there's always the possibility of Canada or other countries using
this as a diplomatic chit when asked to sign another treaty later.

Allan Goodall

"Once again, the half time score, 
 Alien Overlords: 142,000. Scotland: zip."
  - This Hour Has 22 Minutes

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