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Last Updated:5/22/03


Contrasting the presidential roles in the world campaigns to ban chemical weapons (1919-45) and land mines (1990s)

By the Center’s Demilitarization for Democracy Project, With a foreword by Gen. Robert G. Gard, Jr. (U.S. Army, retired) and Sen. Patrick Leahy

Table of Contents:


Lt. Gen. Robert G. Gard, Jr. and Sen. Patrick Leahy...p. i

Introduction and Executive Summary...p. 1

Five Presidents and Chemical Weapons...p. 1

President Clinton and Land Mines...p. 2

Chapter 1: Starting the Debate...p. 3

Chemical Weapons: Wilson and the Versailles Treaty...p. 3

Land Mines: Congressional Leadership, 1992-95...p. 4

Chart: Comparison of Two Debates over Banning a Weapon...p. 6

Chapter 2: Building an International Consensus...p. 8

Chemical Weapons: Harding and the Washington Conference...p. 8

Land Mines: The Convention on Conventional Weapons, 1995-96...p. 10

Chapter 3: Military Pressures, Executive Choices...p. 12

Chemical Weapons: Coolidge, Hoover, and the War Department...p. 12

Land Mines: Clinton and the Pentagon on the Road to Ottawa...p. 14

Chapter 4: Commander-in-Chief...p. 16

Chemical Weapons: Roosevelt and the War in the Pacific...p. 16

Land Mines: Clinton and the Continuing Search for Alternatives...p. 18

Foreword: History’s Revealing Light

by Lt. Gen. Robert G. Gard, Jr. and Sen. Patrick Leahy

Since 1996, when he joined the Vietnam Veterans of America Foundation as its military adviser, General Gard has sought to enact international and U.S. bans on antipersonnel mines. Senator Leahy, who has served in the Senate since 1974, became involved in the campaign to ban the use of antipersonnel mines in 1989 with his establishment of the Leahy War Victims Fund. In 1992 he wrote the first law banning the short-term export of antipersonnel mines, which became a permanent policy of the administration in 1997.

The system of checks and balances our founding fathers created in the Constitution has been central to the success of our democratic system of government. These checks and balances exist not just between but sometimes within the branches of government. This is the case in the important area of control of the armed forces, with the designation within the executive branch of an elected civilian, and not a military officer, as commander-in-chief.

The fact that the senior commander of the United States’ armed forces is our elected president ensures that our military forces will implement, rather than determine, our national security policies. This is especially important when short-term military needs for indiscriminate weapons collide with longer-term military and humanitarian interests. The need for ultimate civilian control over military decisions is well illustrated in this report by the Center for International Policy, which shines the revealing light of history on the role of presidential leadership in efforts to ban the use of chemical weapons after World War I and in efforts to ban antipersonnel land mines in the 1990s.

We know that antipersonnel mines have some tactical military utility, but their indiscriminate nature and the toll they take in civilian lives have convinced the over 130 nations who have joined the Ottawa treaty that they must be banned. These nations accept that, in order to realize the strategic and humanitarian benefits of banning these weapons, they must use other military means to compensate for, if not perfectly replace, their role on the battlefield. The movement toward an effective ban is hampered by the fact that the United States, the most powerful and technically adept nation in the military field, is unfortunately not among the signatories.

Why? We believe that it is because President Clinton has accepted an incorrect assessment from the Pentagon, which claims that antipersonnel mines are essential to the success of our armed forces, most importantly by protecting anti-tank mines from enemy tampering. But this function can be accomplished by alternative means, such as tank-killing missiles. The president has indicated that his understanding of his role as commander-in-chief compels him to defer a ban until the Joint Chiefs of Staff tell him that suitable alternatives can be discovered and fielded. They, rather than the president, are now in the position of determining when it is appropriate to eliminate the weapon, and there is no indication that they will agree any time soon. In many ways, it is unreasonable to expect military officers to voluntarily give up a weapon that provides even marginal military utility.

Presidents Wilson, Harding, Coolidge, and Hoover all faced remarkably similar challenges during the inter-war debate over another indiscriminate weapon — chemical weapons. This report shows that they viewed their role as commander-in-chief quite differently from President Clinton. Despite opposition from the War Department, they took into account all of the civilian and military opinions on the subject, and made a decision that it was in the best long-term humanitarian and security interests of the United States to lead the world toward a ban on the use of chemical weapons.

Their achievement was solidified by President Franklin Roosevelt, who rejected War Department pressure in the 1930s to prepare for massive use of chemical weapons. Then in World War II, when the Army urged the use of chemical weapons to save the lives of U.S. soldiers in the Pacific, President Roosevelt still continued the ban on use, giving it the credibility that eventually led to the Chemical Weapons Convention recently ratified by the Senate. His judgment has been proven correct in military as well as humanitarian terms. There is no doubt that the worldwide movement to ban chemical weapons led by these five commanders-in-chief has been of tremendous benefit not just to civilians throughout the world, but also to U.S. troops.

President Clinton retains the authority to review his policy on banning antipersonnel mines. We encourage the president to adopt the role of commander-in-chief intended by the founding fathers, and weigh the marginal military utility of antipersonnel mines against the impact of their retention on efforts to minimize the humanitarian costs of their continued use. If the United States joins the Ottawa treaty, it will regain its rightful place of leadership in the effort to end the worldwide scourge of land mines.


In World War I the German Army used massive gas attacks in its attempts to break the stalemate in the French theater. The allies responded in kind, and when the United States entered the war, it used its industrial prowess to outperform all other armies in the production of the weapons of chemical warfare. At the end of the war, most strategists assumed that chemical weapons would be as common a tool in war as the grenade. However, chemical weapons were quickly and effectively stigmatized, used only fleetingly in the inter-war period, and never used in the epic struggles of World War II. This arms-control success led directly to today’s international treaty banning the production, stockpiling, and use of chemical weapons.

Conflicts since 1945 have obviously been on a far smaller scale than the World Wars. Their cumulative toll, however, has been just as appalling.(1) As the world has viewed the legacy of conflict in such disparate places as Cambodia, Angola, Afghanistan, El Salvador, Bosnia, and Mozambique, another weapon has been singled out for falling outside of the bounds allowed for war. This weapon is the antipersonnel mine, which like a toxic gas cloud is indiscriminate, unable to tell the difference between a combatant and a child.

Also defying conventional wisdom, a movement arose in the 1990s that quickly and effectively stigmatized antipersonnel mines, and led to the signing of an international treaty banning their production, stockpiling, and use. The 1997 Ottawa treaty has now been signed by 133 nations, although its effectiveness has been undercut by the failure of many of the world’s leading military powers — such as China, Russia, and the United States – to join.

As summarized on Chart 1, there are remarkable similarities between the two campaigns to ban anindiscriminate weapon. In both campaigns public sentiment, humanitarian considerations, and long-term security concerns prevailed over short-term military utility and led to an international consensus that actually changed the behavior of armed forces.

There is, however, one glaring difference, the subject of this report: the leadership of American presidents when faced with opposition by their armed forces to the pursuit of a ban. It is this difference in the actions of the commander-in-chief that explains why the chemical weapons ban has been a success, and the mines ban has yet to achieve universal support.

Five Presidents and Chemical Weapons

Throughout the chemical-weapons debate from 1919 to 1945, five presidents were subjected to various degrees of pressure from the War Department, industry, Congress, the media, and at times even the public to reject a ban on the first use of chemical weapons. The military also exerted pressure promoting an effort to gain dominance in what was seen as the inevitable use of this devastating weapon. Presidents Wilson, Harding, Coolidge, Hoover, and Roosevelt resisted these pressures, and balanced the military utility of chemical weapons against the clear benefits to both U.S. troops and to civilians worldwide of an effective international ban.

President Wilson supported the inclusion of a ban on the first use of chemical weapons in the Versailles Treaty of 1919 that bound the participants in World War I.

President Harding went a step farther, rebuffing a challenge by the War Department and setting an even firmer international standard against chemical weapons in the Washington Conference of 1921.

President Coolidge rejected a military-backed lobbying campaign and led the push for the Geneva Treaty of 1926 outlawing the first use of chemical weapons.

President Hoover held U.S. policy firm even after a lobbying campaign led by the U.S. Chemical Warfare Service convinced the Senate to reject the Geneva Treaty, allowing America to continue as a world leader in the drive to ban chemical weapons.

President Roosevelt faced the hardest test, with the War Department and editorial headlines (We Should Gas Japan, You Can Cook ‘Em Better with Gas) calling for the use of chemical weapons to save U.S. lives in the Pacific campaigns of World War II. He rejected these appeals, solidifying the stigmatization of chemical weapons.(2)

These five presidents, in their constitutional role as commander-in-chief, balanced military recommendations against strategic and humanitarian goals. They took into consideration the appropriate desire of the uniformed leaders of the War Department to save U.S. troops’ lives by using a devastatingly effective weapon. However, they also took into consideration the broader strategic and humanitarian concerns that are part of the U.S. national interest. Ironically, their policy protected U.S. troops better than a purely military-based policy would have.

The Gulf War of 1991 showed the enduring benefit to U.S. forces of these decades of presidential leadership. Fearing the response to its use of an internationally stigmatized weapon, Iraq did not use its copious stores of chemical weapons. Similarly, U.S. attacks in 1998 designed to degrade Iraq’s ability to make weapons of mass destruction, including chemical weapons, show the enduring strategic importance the United States attaches to keeping these weapons out of modern warfare.

President Clinton and Land Mines

President Clinton, in contrast to the five presidents who led the fight to ban chemical weapons, upon taking office deferred immediately to official Pentagon opposition to banning antipersonnel mines. A complex set of political and personal circumstances made it difficult for him to challenge the Pentagon on any issue. In arevealing commentary on his perceived weakness with the armed forces, President Clinton actually asked supporters of a ban to help him achieve that goal by pressuring the Pentagon. "Get the Joint Chiefs off my back," he said, and then there could be the progress they wanted.(3)

Even when an internal Pentagon debate developed, the president and his National Security Council staff avoided engagement, so as not to be seen as interfering with military prerogatives. The Pentagon fought congressional efforts to place a moratorium on the export and then the use of land mines, and broke a pledge from Clinton to the main sponsor, Sen. Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.), by working to repeal the moratorium on use.

As other nations joined the call for a ban, the presidentcontinued to seek international support for a Pentagon proposal for two exemptions, air and artillery deployable antipersonnel mines which would be mixed with anti-tank mines in canisters, and for all land mines used in the defense of South Korea. In 1997 over 120 nations rejected these exemptions and signed the Ottawa treaty. The treaty entered into force March 1, 1999.

Today, the administration is still hoping to modify the Ottawa treaty to gain its two exemptions, something that international observers believe is highly unlikely. President Clinton’s position continues to be that as commander-in-chief he has a duty to deploy antipersonnel mines, because they will save the lives of U.S. troops and of civilians who rely on our defense. Since 1994, the Pentagon has been formally under orders from the president to develop alternatives. With no time deadlines and external guidance, though, the Pentagon continues to study rather than implement concepts.

In failing simply to instruct the Pentagon to replace antipersonnel mines with the numerous currently-available technologies and tactics that fulfill the same function, President Clinton has made the United States a barrier to the universalization of the Ottawa treaty. (For a detailed treatment of alternative tactics and technologies, see Exploding the Landmine Myth in Korea, Demilitarization for Democracy, 1997, with endorsement and a foreword by former U.S. commander in Korea Gen. James Hollingsworth as well as Alternatives to Antipersonnel Landmines, by Gen. Robert Gard, Jr.) Ironically, U.S. forces could well be more secure with a functioning international ban on this indiscriminate weapon, just as they were with a ban on chemical weapons. In 1997 the Dupuy Institute informed the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff that "a total banon this type of mine, if eventually adhered to by most nations, will only benefit the U.S. ground forces in the long run."(4)

President Clinton’s 1998 Presidential Decision Directive states the goal of signing the Ottawa Treaty, but not until 2006, and even then only with the Pentagon’s agreement that "suitable" alternatives are available. Congress has mandated two studies on alternatives, one by the Pentagon and one by the National Academy of Sciences. The release of these reports will provide President Clinton with another opportunity to follow in his predecessors’ footsteps, by banning an indiscriminate weapon and ordering military compliance with this policy.

* * *

Chapter 1: Starting the Debate

Chemical Weapons: Wilson and the Versailles Treaty

World War I created a sentiment in the United States against chemical weapons, but not a strong consensus. While an awareness of the horror of asphyxiation by chemical weapons was spread by returned troops and their acquaintances, there was no general outcry or movement to abolish the weapon’s future use. Indeed, the carnage created by the new high-explosive shell gave that weapon as much of a reputation as a new instrument of terror as mustard gas had acquired.

What made chemical weapons stand out was that they were seen as a tool of aggression that Germany had used in violation of its commitments under the 1899 Hague Convention. This convention required states to abstain from putting poison gas into shells – a weak standard that invited creative technical work in delivering gas in other ways. Germany had clearly violated the convention, and the United States (which had not signed it) and Britain (which had) interpreted the convention to permit retaliation in kind.(5)

The use of large-scale gas attacks, particularly those using mustard gas, which was developed later in the war, became an effective military tactic available to both sides. Technical innovations and production capabilities by the U.S. Chemical Weapons Service had the United States poised to become a dominant power in this area. Had Germany not surrendered, testified a War Department expert, "Our offensive in 1919, in my opinion, would have been a walk to Berlin, due to chemical warfare." Lt. Col. Augustin Prentiss later wrote, "The campaign of 1919 would have been largely a chemical war."(6) Despite U.S. strengths in the technology and production of chemical weapons, President Wilson endorsed the Foch Committee of the Supreme War Council’s draft language for the Versailles Treaty:

Production or use of asphyxiating poisonous or similar gases, any liquid, any material and any similar device capable of use in war are forbidden.(7)

President Wilson did not face concerted War Department opposition for this remarkable bid to outlaw the production and use of a weapon. For both moral and strategic reasons, many U.S. military leaders were resisting the drive of the Chemical Weapons Service to integrate poison gas into U.S. combat doctrine. Indeed, the continued existence of the service itself was still in doubt.(8) However, Wilson did face the concerted opposition of the powerful American chemical industry.

The major U.S. chemical producers saw the Versailles treaty as an opportunity to gain a decisive future advantage over the Germans in chemical production, both civilian and military. They formed the Chemical Foundation, which pushed not for a general prohibition, but instead for a punitive provision that would apply only to Germany, and deny it any industrial capacity for the production of chemicals.(9) The foundation lobbied Wilson to consider the "five hundred millions invested in the dye industry...the textile, paint, varnish, and other industries dependent upon the American dye industry..."(10)

Arguing the need for "wresting from Germany her destructive use of chemical science and turning it to our defense and the betterment of humanity," the Chemical Foundation found many friends among the European powers, especially the British. Prime Minister David Lloyd-George appealed for this comprehensive punitive measure against Germany because, he said, "The British Military supported by scientific experts, made the case that German discovery of new gases would enable her to gain a decisive military advantage despite limited conventional armaments."(11)

President Wilson adamantly opposed the proposed amendment as a commercial ploy.(12) The U.S. delegation had firm orders not to heed the Chemical Foundation, but the foundation’s campaign bore some fruit. While the treaty did restate the general prohibition against use (meaning, in the context of the time, first use), it only barred production and possession of these weapons by Germany. In the end Part V, Section 1, Chapter 1, Article 171 of the Versailles Treaty read:

The use of asphyxiating, poisonous or other gases and all analogous liquids, materials, or devices being prohibited, their manufacture and importation are strictly forbidden in Germany.(13)

While Wilson had to compromise at Versailles, his aggressive stance against production and use set an important precedent. He had signaled well before any domestic or international consensus developed that, despite the stance of the powerful chemical industry and the obvious U.S. military advantage in this area, the United States desired a complete prohibition on production and use of chemical weapons. By at least retaining in Article 171 the general agreement that the use of chemical weapons was prohibited, Wilson had set the stage for future U.S. leadership in the development of an international consensus for prohibition.

Public opinion in the United States soon began to shift in Wilson’s favor. The leading advocate for banning chemical weapons was the International Committee of the Red Cross, which began its drive in 1918, and provided a focal point for advocacy and research on the issue. Their studies were well researched, and concluded that the costs to the civilian population from a poison-gas attack were simply so high that gas could never be considered "humane" in any war situation.(14) Ironically, though, the efforts of the Red Cross to condemn chemical weapons were less effective in affecting American public opinion than the unintended result of a chemical-industry publicity campaign in favor of chemical weapons and of protecting the American chemical industry’s ability to make them by establishing high tariffs for imports of all chemicals.(15)

The industry’s campaign was massive in scope, with DuPont alone putting $370,000 into it.(16) It included a newspaper blitz resulting in over 1,025 editorials, and a speaking tour to Chambers of Commerce, Kiwanis and Rotary Clubs, and various state and national conventions. The campaign’s message was that gas warfare was the warfare of the future, and that U.S. troops and civilians would feel its horrors if the chemical industry did not get its way. The dark prospect of "the Hun" dropping canisters of mustard gas on unprepared American boys who lacked the capacity to fight back was supposed to shock listeners into supporting protective tariffs. As a Dow Chemical vice president said during the tour:

(Chemical warfare) is the most effective weapon of all time… the most humane ever introduced into war by man… Our land armies for future struggles will be officered entirely by trained chemists… We need a protecting tariff… In this war after the war our battle cry must be "To Hell with all German imports! Down with everything opposed to American Industries!"(17)

General Amos Fries, the commander of the embattled U.S. Chemical Weapons Service, readily assisted this campaign, and technically, the chemical industry got what it wanted in the form of higher tariffs. However, what neither the industry nor General Fries bargained for was the adverse public reaction to the stream of pro-chemical propaganda. Instead of being led toward the campaign’s proposed goals of preparedness for chemical warfare, the public veered sharply towards a call for outlawing the horrors the industry was describing.(18)

By 1921 the American public had been forced to consider the future nature of warfare, and was overwhelmingly repelled by the vision of armies marching behind lethal clouds of gas. A national public opinion survey released in December of that year stated that of those polled, 366,975 Americans favored prohibition of poison gas, while a bare 19 favored its retention with some restriction imposed on its use.(19) The industry had badly overplayed its hand, and a new president was poised to take full advantage of the new public position.

Land Mines: Congressional Leadership, 1992-94

Concrete governmental action toward banning land mines began in 1992. At the urging of the Vietnam Veterans of America Foundation (VVAF) and a nascent coalition of nongovernmental organizations it funded called the International Campaign to Ban Landmines, Congress enacted a one-year moratorium on the export of antipersonnel mines. The amendment offered by Senator Leahy appeared so mild that the Bush administration chose not to fight it openly.(20) This was a tactical error the Pentagon would come to regret.

Congressional and public support for the export moratorium was couched almost exclusively in humanitarian terms. Congress had in previous years enacted legislation sponsored by Leahy to establish a War Victims’ Fund. Leahy portrayed the drive to ban antipersonnel mines, with the export moratorium providing breathing room to start the effort, as a reaction to what he had seen firsthand while visiting Vietnam Veterans of America Foundation rehabilitation centers in developing nations supported by the War Victims’ Fund.

Leahy’s initial speech as he offered the export moratorium established the enduring image of the land mine debate in the United States: thousands of innocent amputees gathering to receive prosthetics and training.(21) While the Pentagon later used the full power of the administration’s publicity machine to try to substitute the image of a U.S. soldier pinned down in a foxhole but protected by mines, it never truly reversed Leahy’s early success.

In 1992 most religious, human rights, veterans, development, and disarmament groups in the United States knew little about land mines, and did not grasp the relevance of the effort to ban this weapon. The public knew even less. By 1995, as a result of congressional leadership and publicity by members of the International Campaign to Ban Landmines, hundreds of groups were working towards a ban.(22) The media was raising public awareness through numerous stories on the damage mines did to individuals and economies in developing countries, and also noting the threat they posed to U.S. troops on peacekeeping missions.(23)

There was little pro-mine publicity during the debate in 1992 on the amendment for a one-year export moratorium or during 1993 on another successful Leahy amendment to extend the export moratorium for three years. Although 4.4 million U.S. land mines had been exported between 1968 and 1992, there were few being exported by the 1990s.(24) The U.S. Arms Control and Disarmament Agency and Alliant Techsytems, a major manufacturer of land mines which was poised to dominate the export market for self-destructing mines, did try to counter the image of land mines as a humanitarian threat, but they did so largely in Congress and in policy-making circles in Washington.(25) The national media field was largely dominated by proponents of a ban.

President Clinton’s initial reaction to the land-mine question, and his strategy ever since, was to try to please both the Pentagon and the proponents of a ban. As twenty-five nations over the next threeyears joined the United States in imposing a moratorium on land mine exports, the president tried to stay ahead of the policy curve by pushing for UN discussion of the goal of banning land mines. To Pentagon leaders, he offered assurances that these discussions would never lead to changes in U.S. military policy against their advice. When in the fall of 1994 Clinton made a speech before the UN General Assembly calling for the "eventual ban" of all land mines, the fine print of his press release exempted U.S. mines from this effort.(26)

Clinton had made it clear in meetings with advisers as early as December 1992 that for political reasons he was putting the Pentagon on his "do not touch" list. Among the possible reasons for this decision were Clinton’s desire to reduce the Democratic Party’s vulnerability with pro-military portions of the electorate, his efforts to avoid the draft during the Vietnam War, rumors that White House staff had ridiculed a military commander, and the controversy over his campaign pledge not to discriminate against gays and lesbians in the armed forces.

President Clinton’s first significant national-security decision was to accede to the Pentagon’s demand for additional nuclear tests, a policy that was only reversed by credible congressional threats to overturn it through legislation. Similarly, Clinton decided to maintain three policy-changing arms sales (to Taiwan, Saudi Arabia, and Kuwait) that had been pushed through as "jobs" measures in the heat of the election season.(27) Land-mine policy was simply another area in which he wished to avoid antagonizing a mistrustful Pentagon.

Unprepared for the explosion of anti-mine sentiment, the Pentagon reflexively opposed banning antipersonnel mines. Indeed, in discussions with ban proponents prior to Clinton’s speech at the United Nations, U.S. military officers found the idea so bizarre as to not merit detailed rebuttal.(28) Land mines had been integrated into U.S. doctrine for over 100 years. The UnitedStates had a monopoly on a new generation of air-deployable, self-destructing mines, and experts expected these mines to multiply U.S. combat effectiveness.(29) Finally, some Pentagon officials and senior military officers were worried about the cost of converting mixed systems. They also saw the campaign to ban land mines as a "slippery slope," in which humanitarian concerns publicized by nongovernmental groups would convince Congress to strip away weapon after weapon from U.S. arsenals.(30)

The Pentagon quickly developed a formulation that allowed Clinton to talk about banning land mines while not reducing U.S. capabilities, and it is this formulation that has endured to the present. The United States would push for a ban on what it considered indiscriminate use and indiscriminate types of land mines. U.S. mines, since they were either in marked and monitored military areas (like the South Korean border and Guantanamo, Cuba) or would self-destruct after a set period on the battlefield, were not to be considered indiscriminate. Some officers within the Pentagon began privately to question the need for antipersonnel mines, but the official position remained unchanged.

The Pentagon found unlikely allies in the State Department and the U.S. Arms Control and Disarmament Agency (ACDA), which had historically provided a counterbalance in debates on other indiscriminate weapons, such as nuclear testing. From 1993 through 1995, the ACDA was the administration’s point agency with the media and Congress for a policy permitting self-destructing mines. During that period, the State Department tried to convince other governments to endorse a U.S. and British proposal to ban, gradually, only long-lived mines.(31)

Indeed it was the ACDA, not the Pentagon, that first tried to refocus the public debate on military rather than humanitarian issues, citing the protection mines afforded U.S. troops. At first ACDA tried calling U.S. self-destructing mines "safe" mines, but under public criticism it soon settled on the phrase "smart" mines to describe weapons that, while indiscriminate, did not create a long-term, hidden humanitarian problem as long-lived mines did. In the meantime, Clinton continued his policy of publicly calling for a ban, but allowing the Pentagon to determine actual policy.

Faced with official Pentagon resistance and the lack of an ally within the administration to counter it, Senator Leahy and his House partner Rep. Lane Evans (D-Ill.) decided to promote additional partial steps toward a ban through legislation. In 1994 they introduced, but did not pursue, a bill placing a moratorium on theproduction of antipersonnel land mines, and in 1995 they aggressively pursued a bill placing a moratorium on the use of these weapons. Prior to the introduction of this last bill, Senator Leahy had quietly rounded up forty-four co-sponsors. A barrage of national publicity on humanitarian concerns spurred by ban proponents further overwhelmed the Pentagon’s muted expressions of concern. Mainstream groups like the American Red Cross, headed by Elizabeth Dole (wife of then Senate Majority Leader Robert Dole), endorsed the moratorium on use, and it passed the Senate by a 63-28 margin in 1995 and became law in February 1996. This bill:

urged the president to seek an international agreement for the eventual elimination of antipersonnel land mines;

imposed, after a three-year period of prepara tion, a one-year moratorium in 1999 on U.S. use of APLs, except in marked areas along international borders, such as the Korean demilitarized zone; and

encouraged other nations to join the moratorium.(32)

With enactment of this first prohibition ever on the use of antipersonnel mines, the United States resumed leadership in the movement to ban this weapon. As with the export moratorium, though, it had been Congress, not the president, who had taken this action. The Pentagon, licking its wounds from this defeat on a largely symbolic measure, realized that if it was to prevail in the next, more concrete round of the debate, it would need not just Clinton’s acquiescence, but his active support.





Chemical Weapons

Antipersonnel Mines

Yes: The Germans achieved a temporary breakthrough in the static trench warfare with the surprise use of this weapon. Limited U.S. use further showed the great utility of chemical weapons on the battlefield of the day. Yes: Mixed anti-tank mine systems projected into North Korean rear echelons are estimated to delay invading tanks a crucial twenty minutes. Pentagon-commissioned study by defense thinktank concludes that mines work well for "static defenses."
Strategic Risks to U.S. Troops? Significant: WWI proved chemical weapons are indiscriminate weapons that are difficult to counter. Possibility of their use in future conflicts poses a major threat to U.S. forces. Significant: Two Pentagon-commissioned reports caution that enemy mines can hamper U.S. rapid mobility under modern combat doctrine and put U.S. troops at risk. U.S. field-training wargame shows a significant "fratricide" rate coming from U.S. mines.
Opposition to a Ban?
Yes: U.S. chemical producers created a lobby group, the Chemical Foundation, to pressure presidents and Congress for full development of chemical weapons capacity. Yes: Alliant Techsystems supports Pentagon opposition to ban, saying it will continue to produce land mines as long as the U.S. military believes they are useful.
Debate on Ban?
Significant: Officers in Chemical Warfare Service worked both through and outside the chain of command to oppose efforts to restrict use. High-ranking officers beginning with General Pershing believed chemical weapons to be both immoral and dangerous to U.S. troops.

Significant: Regional army commanders, especially in Korea, strongly oppose a ban. Some Pentagon policy planners and a group of retired high-ranking officers call for Clinton to ban land mines.Pentagon-commissioned thinktank recommends "that the United States support a total ban on anti personnel mines."

Public and Media Support for Ban? Very Strong, Then Mixed: A national poll in 1921 showed that over 99 percent of Americans supported abolition of chemical weapons. General support continues until World War II, when the press and public becomes more divided as to use against the Japanese. Very Strong, Then Mixed: Polling done by Vietnam Veterans of America Foundation showed strong public support for a mines ban through 1996, and most media stories stressed the humanitarian cost of land mines. Pentagon opposition then shifts public and media attention toward the military utility of mines.
Support for Ban?
Support Early, Opposition Later: Senate easily ratified Washington Treaty language prohibiting chemical weapons use in 1921. The War Department and Chemical Foundation’s efforts to promote military preparedness led to Senate rejection of the Geneva Treaty in 1927. Support Early, Opposition Later: Congress led by passing an export moratorium in 1992 and a use moratorium in 1995. Opposition by the Pentagon over military utility of land mines led Congress to repeal use moratorium.
Military Calls for "Discriminate" Use? Yes: U.S. military advisers to both the Washington and Geneva Conferences supported prohibition on use only against civilian targets and cities. Yes: The Pentagon first wanted an exemption on any ban of "smart" (self-destructing) mines, and then turned toward an exemption for "mixed" anti-tank mine systems, and for all mines in Korea.
Development of
Support for a Ban
U.S. Leads: Early leadership by Wilson and Harding creates international consensus against chemical weapons. Continued leadership by Coolidge, Hoover, and Roosevelt cement international stigma even in wartime. U.S. Leads, Then Blocks: Early congressional leadership establishes mine ban as achievable international goal and brings even major mine exporters like Italy aboard. Pentagon’s proposed exemptions turn United States into significant obstacle in the Ottawa process.
Commitment to Ban
Clear & Consistent: Each president throughout the period makes the case both in public and within his administration for a global prohibition on the use of chemical weapons. Unclear & Inconsistent: Early public statement at the United Nations in support of ban, but hedged by words such as "eventual elimination." In 1996 State of the Union, Clinton says goal is to "ban all land mines." Clinton’s support, however, is undermined by Pentagon opposition.
Challenge to Military Calls for Use
Yes: Chemical Warfare Service and War Department press in 1920s and ‘30s to permit U.S. preparation for massive use, and for use in ‘40s in the war in the Pacific. Presidents reject all requests after taking into account the full spectrum of military and civilian concerns. No: Clinton refuses to confront Pentagon unless pro-ban groups "get the Joint Chiefs off my back." Refuses to become involved in internal military debate over landmines policy, and defers to each Pentagon objection as defense against ban evolves.
Final Military
Obeys Orders: Between World Wars I and II, the War Department obeys order from commander-in-chief, with only minimal preparation for chemical weapons use. After Roosevelt rejects use on Iwo Jima, similar plans for Biak Island are rejected by the military due to known official policy. Generates Policy: Pentagon becomes lead policy-making agent of the Clinton White House on the mines issue, and insists on exemptions for Korea and "mixed" anti-tank mine systems. Timetable for halfhearted search for alternatives envisions up to twenty years of research and development.
Policy Result U.S. Leadership Leads to Historic Accomplishment: Chemical weapons are not used in World War II. The stigma of poison gas as a "pariah’s weapon" keeps subsequent use to a minimum and leads to an international convention to ban chemical weapons. U.S. Opposition Creates Barrier to Historic Accomplishment: Ottawa Treaty banning land mines enters into force March 1999. Lack of U.S. signature is serious barrier to the treaty’s universalization.


* * *

Chapter 2: Building an International Consensus

Chemical Weapons: Harding and the Washington Conference

The War Department’s position on chemical weapons after the war was unsettled. A devastating weapon was available, but in the absence of guidance and funding, few commanders took steps to integrate it into war plans and units. Some senior officers feared the repercussions for U.S. troops of the worldwide acceptanceof chemical weapons, while others, led by Gen. Amos Fries, pushed hard for large-scale production and distribution.(33) Even the continued existence of General Fries’s Chemical Warfare Service, which was responsible for the research, development, and procurement of both chemical weapons and defensive equipment, was in doubt.(34)

Working with Sen. George Chamberlain of Oregon and the chemical manufacturers, General Fries managed to thwart a War Department decision to close down the Chemical Warfare Service, place its research in the Army Corps of Engineers, and end production. Using confidential War Department documents to make his case, in 1920 Senator Chamberlain enacted a permanent law maintaining the Chemical Warfare Service.(35) Still, there was significant resistance within the War Department to Fries’s plans when President Harding took office in 1921, and the public favored a ban on chemical weapons.

As the War Department was still debating its policy, President Harding forced the issue by including chemical weapons on the agenda of a conference called by the United States to slow the arms race in the Pacific. The Washington Arms Conference was originally expected to limit only aircraft and submarines, but President Harding and Secretary of State Charles Evans Hughes decided to add poison gas. Harding said that he envisaged "an America that can maintain every heritage and yet help humanity throughout the world reach a higher plane."(36)

As the conference convened in 1921, General Fries represented the War Department general staff in negotiations on gas warfare. As a result, the U.S. position was a big step back from the terms of the Versailles Treaty:

The only limitation that should be considered by the United States is the prohibition of its use against cities and noncombatants in exactly the same manner as the use of airplane bombs, high explosive shells, or other weapons are prohibited.(37)

The War Department believed that it possessed the technology to use chemical weapons discriminately.

When chemical weapons were first discussed at the Washington Conference in January 1922, Secretary of State Hughes simply mimicked the War Department’s posture on policy, saying that nations had to be prepared both offensively and defensively for the use of chemical weapons by an "unscrupulous enemy." Further, he said that because many high-explosive shells emitted deadly gas, it would be unrealistic to prohibit the use of gas.(38) The British and French representatives to a subcommittee of experts on this issue agreed with the U.S. position. The subcommittee, chaired by the president of the American Chemical Society, concluded that "the only limitation practicable" was to bar the use of gas against cities and noncombatants.(39)

President Harding responded to this exclusively military approach by referring the matter to an advisory committee he had created to promote ratification of what he knew would be a controversial treaty. The twenty-one member advisory committee included Secretary of Commerce Herbert Hoover, famed World War I military commander Gen. John Pershing, Rear Admiral Thomas Rodgers, and Assistant Secretary of War J. Mayhew Wainwright.(40)

Looking not only at the immediate military situation as represented by the War Department, but also at the humanitarian and longer-term security context, the advisory committee arrived at a very different answer for President Harding from General Fries’s. They offered up the specter of massive gas attacks delivered by fleets of aircraft, and concluded that there could be "no actual restraint of the use by combatants of this new agency of warfare if it is permitted in any guise."

Reflecting what one analyst called the "near-hysteria" in the press and the public about gas warfare, the committee then invoked the conscience of America by saying:

The Committee is of the opinion that the conscience of the American people has been profoundly shocked by the savage use of scientific discoveries for destruction rather than construction… The American representatives would not be doing their duty in expressing the conscience of the American people were they to fail in insisting upon the total abolition of chemical warfare.(41)

The advisory committee relied not just on humanitarian and moral appeal, but also on reports by the Advisory Subcommittee on Land Armaments (alsosigned by General Pershing) and by the U.S. Navy. These reports agreed that abolition of chemical weapons was both plausible and preferable for U.S. military security and the security of noncombatants.(42) With the official War Department stance against prohibition undercut by these other military sources, and with public sentiment fully on the side of prohibition, Harding instructed the U.S. delegation to introduce the following proposal:

The use in war of asphyxiating, poisonous or other gases and all analogous liquids, materials or devices, having been justly condemned by the general opinion of the civilized world and a prohibition of such use having been declared in treaties to which a majority of the civilized are parties:

Now to the end that this prohibition shall be universally accepted as a part of international law binding alike the conscience and practice of nations, the Signatory Powers declare their assent to such prohibition, agree to be bound thereby between themselves and invite all other civilized nations to adhere thereto.

The American proposal was accepted and signed on February 6, 1922, becoming Article V of the Treaty Between the United States of America, the British Empire, France, Italy and Japan Relating to the Use of Submarines and Noxious Gases in Warfare.(43) Prohibition had won the day, and the Senate readily backed up the decision with easy ratification of the treaty.

In rejecting a short-term military view, Harding had promoted a broader view of U.S. security and moral interests. Proponents of chemical weapons in the armed forces and in industry were unreconciled, and would force another reckoning, but Harding’s precedent would prove to be enduring.

Land Mines: The Convention on Conventional Weapons, 1995-96

In 1980 rules governing the use of antipersonnel mines were added to the International Convention on Conventional Weapons, a longstanding treaty on the use of particularly inhumane weapons. However, the rules were vague and hortatory, and had little impact on the use of land mines in the developed or developing world.(44) The Clinton administration turned to the convention as a way of responding to general calls for a ban and to the particular problem of the Leahy-Evans proposal for a moratorium on U.S. use of antipersonnel mines.

Until 1995, the Clinton administration had not been forced to take any concrete action limiting its own use of land mines, even as it had concurrently claimed credit for world leadership on the issue. While it had opposed the extension of the export moratorium by Congress in 1993, it soon found that mine manufacturers had largely accepted the moratorium, and the administration began to promote the ban itself at the United Nations.(45)

Even the proposed moratorium on use did not raise significant opposition among mine manufacturers. Only a few, such as Minnesota’s Alliant Techsytems, had substantial revenues from Army production contracts, and they began to come under public pressure from a campaign of stigmatization of producers led by Human Rights Watch. Minnesota congressman Martin Sabo briefly promoted the "smart mines" concept to the nongovernmental groups comprising the U.S. Campaign to Ban Landmines, but soon stopped after seeing the strength of the opposition from these groups, his usual allies in human-rights debates.(46)

The proposed moratorium on use roused the Pentagon to full resistance to the ban movement. A review conference was set for the Convention on Conventional Weapons in Vienna in September 1995, in preparation for a formal negotiation and signing in Geneva the next spring. Throughout 1995 the Pentagon argued that any restrictions should be achieved through the convention, and not through the unilateral Leahy-Evans moratorium on use.

The restrictions the Pentagon proposed became the official U.S. position for the Vienna conference. This position simply repeated the demands that the State Department and the Arms Control and Disarmament Agency had been carrying to foreign capitals with little effect for over a year: gradual constraints on long-lived mines, and none on self-destructing mines. Joint Chiefs of Staff chairman Gen. John Shalikashvili drew a line in the sand, issuing a statement calling antipersonnel mines"indispensable" to U.S. troops and missions.(47)

Beneath this public facade, there existed disagreement within the Pentagon that President Clinton could have exploited to develop a new U.S. policy. While regional commanders were strongly opposed to banning a weapon already integrated into their battle plans, a number of officers believed that long-term U.S. security interests would be served by stigmatizing land mines, and were willing to give up short-term military utility to achieve that goal. Others were convinced that land mines should be removed from U.S. doctrine not for humanitarian reasons, but because they slowed down our own mobile forces, and were confounding the Pentagon’s drive toward discriminate firepower and sensor-based warfare.

These dissenters in the Pentagon circulated a June 1994 report by the Institute for Defense Analysis which had been prepared for the office of the undersecretary of defense for policy, entitled The Military Utility of Landmines: Implications for Arms Control, which concluded, "Issues of military utility in high intensity conflict need not preclude further consideration of any form of landmines arms control."(48) Their voices, however, were never heard outside of the Pentagon. With no support from the president and his National Security Council staff, and after General Shalikashvili’s statement, their opinions failed to alter the decision to take the so-called smart-mines policy into the review conference.

The U.S. representatives entered a lion’s den in Vienna in September 1995. Along with the forty-four nations convened for the review conference seventy nongovernmental organizations were present, including the International Committee of the Red Cross and many members of the International Campaign to Ban Landmines. Although a universal ban was not on the agenda, the nongovernmental groups still presented the case for a ban, and also commented on governments’ proposals. In addition to the U.S. proposal to reduce the use of long-lived mines, these included barriers to the use of mines in an offensive fashion against civilian targets, tighter verification and compliance mechanisms, a minimum metal content to assure that mines were detectable, and a prohibition of anti-handling devices.(49)

For the United States, the conference was an unmitigated disaster. Both China and Russia stalled agreement on metal content and other minimal reforms, and the U.S. proposal to limit long-lived mines was widely rejected as unworkable. Developing nations argued that "smart" mines were prohibitively expensive, costing up to ten times as much per unit as the"dumb" mines. The nongovernmental groups also rejected the U.S. proposal to permit, rather than stigmatize and ban, mines that self-destructed after a set period.(50)

The U.S. delegation saw the short period of activation of these mines as permitting their discriminate use. Short-lived mines were presented as a technological fix to the humanitarian problems posed by long-lived mines. The nongovernmental groups, in contrast, saw these mines as a new humanitarian crisis in the making. Unlike hand-emplaced short-lived mines, they argued, the new generation of self-destructing mines could be scattered by the thousands from artillery tubes and aircraft: combatants in civil conflicts who were already using every available means of violence against civilians and the economy in areas they could not control would simply be provided with a new, easily-deliverable one.(51)

The Vienna sessions ended in October with little agreement on modifications. In Geneva in April 1996 at the final review conference for the Convention on Conventional Weapons, the U.S. delegation made one more attempt to promote the smart-mine regime. Ambassador Michael Matheson, chief U.S. negotiator, presented the U.S. position as the most humane path: "We will be replacing land mines with a thirty-year life span with mines that have a thirty-day life span."(52) Again the nongovernmental groups and the vast majority of governmental delegations rejected this approach of banning only certain types of antipersonnel mines.

The final revisions to the convention were minimal and generally acknowledged to have had mines issue, was now a major obstruction. When Canada and a few other pro-ban nations met with nongovernmental groups in Geneva in the aftermath of the Convention for an off-the-record planning session, the U.S. delegation was not invited. By surrendering mine policy to the Pentagon, President Clinton had taken the United States out of the international loop. The ban would move forward not with the efforts of the United States, but against them.

Chapter 3: Military Pressures, Executive Choices

Chemical Weapons: Coolidge, Hoover, and the War Department

General Fries and the Chemical Warfare Service did not simply salute and carry out U.S. policy after the Senate ratified the Washington Treaty and its clear prohibition on the offensive use of chemical weapons. Fries and his allies in Congress and the chemical industry continued to speak out for "preparedness" for gas warfare, which had become a code word for massive production and the integration of delivery mechanisms into military structures. The Washington Conference, however, led to a clear change in military policy away from plans to prepare and use chemical weapons, and the Chemical Weapons Service saw its 1922 budget cut from its requested $8.5 million to $4.5 million by the War Department, and then to $1.5 million by Congress.(53)

In making war plans, General Pershing, now army chief of staff, took to heart the new policy he had created with President Harding. For example, in November 1922 a corps commander requested that one of his war plans provide for the employment of toxic and nontoxic gases. The request was disapproved by General Pershing, who wrote:

It is inconceivable that the United States will initiate the use of gases…and by no means certain that it will use them even in retaliation. Aside from this, it is quite unlikely that the prospective enemy…will invite retaliatory measures by using gases in any form. Should he do so, however, the action to be taken will be decided when the time comes.(54)

While General Fries and his allies continued to argue for the preparedness of all units to respond immediately and massively with chemical weapons, senior military officials were moving in the opposite direction. Chemical weapons were being relegated to the fringe of U.S. war plans, leading to a policy of storing them away from likely battlefields, with plans to transport them for use in retaliation only after the fact.

By 1925, as Calvin Coolidge took over the Oval Office, the policy of prohibition had gained so much institutional and international recognition that the State Department was looking for any opportunity to strengthen it. As the State Department prepared forthe Geneva Conference for the Control of the International Trade in Arms, Munitions, and Implements of War, President Coolidge met with Secretary of State Frank Kellogg, head of the U.S. delegation, Rep. Theodore Burton of Ohio, and Commerce Secretary Herbert Hoover, who, like Pershing, had backed Harding on the Washington Conference’s advisory committee. They agreed to add chemical weapons to the agenda, and proposed a ban on trade to go with the Washington Treaty’s ban on use:

The High Contracting Parties therefore agree absolutely to prohibit the export from their territory of any such asphyxiating, poisonous or other gases and all analogous liquids, intended or designed for use in connection with operations of war.(55)

Coolidge irritated the War Department by not including it in the decision-making process for what he saw as a purely humanitarian issue.(56) When the War Department did have an opportunity to express itself as part of the military committee of the conference, it balked and went back to the same argument that it had used in the Washington Conference, saying that it was not feasible to restrict the use of chemical weapons except against civilian targets. Representative Burton quickly cleared up the confusion over the U.S. position, telling the conference:

The President of the United States, Mr. Coolidge, will be glad to extend an invitation for a Conference at Washington with a view to the framing of a Convention for the prohibition of the use of asphyxiating gas in war.(57)

While chemical weapons were dropped from the trade provisions of the final Geneva Treaty, the delegates approved a separate Gas Protocol in 1925 that restated the complete prohibition on chemical warfare.(58) The War and Navy departments, while not strong proponents of chemical "preparedness," nonetheless objected to being excluded from U.S. deliberations, and strongly opposed ratification of this new treaty restriction.(59) They teamed up with the chemical industry and the American Legion to conduct a national publicity blitz against ratification.(60)

The Foreign Relations Committee favorably reported on the Geneva Protocol, but a maelstrom of opposition hit it on the Senate floor. Supporters of the protocol, which was simply a restatement of existing U.S. policy and treaty commitments, were caught unprepared for the debate of 1926. The Senate clearly accepted General Fries’s arguments for military preparedness, and believed that the United States would be putting itself at a military disadvantage with other nations who would not observe the protocol. Senator James Wadsworth of New York, a leader in the opposition said:

We know just about as certainly as we know we are sitting in this chamber that it is against all human nature to expect a nation to deny to itself the use of a weapon that will save it.(61)

When the Senate rejected the protocol, the Chemical Weapons Service finally achieved one of its primary objectives: legitimacy. U.S. policy at least gave lip service to being prepared for the use of chemical weapons in retaliation. Secretary of State Kellogg said in a December 1926 letter to the American Chemical Society:

All governments recognize that it is incumbent upon them to be fully prepared as regards chemical warfare, and especially as regards defense against it, irrespective of any partial or general international agreements looking to the prohibition of the actual use of such warfare.(62)

In practice, though, preparedness remained a low priority in the War Department’s tight budget. While aviators in particular were trained in delivery techniques throughout the 1930s, the limited stores of chemicals and bombs were still kept in rear areas rather than distributed to air bases. When World War II broke out, the United States was unprepared to wage significant retaliatory chemical warfare.

Part of the explanation for the continued lack of focus on chemical weapons in the War Department was that despite the Senate defeat of the protocol, the official U.S. position was still strongly in favor of prohibition. Herbert Hoover, who became president in 1929, had helped develop this position on the advisory committee in 1921, and he made clear that he was not going to change it. His instructions to the U.S. delegation to the World Disarmament Conference in 1932 continued the U.S. tradition of strong international leadership against the use of chemical weapons:

The United States is prepared to accept not merely the abolition of lethal gases as heretofore announced, but the abolition of the use of all toxic gases in war.(63)

The War Department had made several efforts to water down the language that President Hoover was suggesting, inserting such clauses as "subject to reciprocity" and language to make sure that American "preparedness" was not hindered by any treaties or policy proclamations.

Learning from Coolidge’s mistake, Hoover did not exclude the War Department from his decision-making process. He coordinated the wording of the U.S. position with military leaders, and included the chief of naval operations on the delegation. Gen. Douglas MacArthur, the Army chief of staff, was given early word of the decision in order to relay it to others in the War Department. The decision, however, was still to promote an international ban, despite the limitations that would place on U.S. military capabilities. While Hoover was willing to be more inclusive, he also let the War Department know that the U.S. position in favor of prohibition still stood.(64)

Land Mines: Clinton and the Pentagon on the Road to Ottawa

By March 1996 it was clear that the smart mine position advocated at the Convention on Conventional Weapons was a failure. During the next two months, an intense debate took place within the Clinton administration. U.S. ambassador to the United Nations Madeleine Albright visited mine-plagued Angola, and wrote a private note to Secretary of Defense William Perry urging the Pentagon to review its policy so that a workable agreement could be reached "in our lifetime." Perry ordered General Shalikashvili to conduct a review.(65) Agency for International Development administrator J. Brian Atwood wrote more openly: "I am hopeful that the United States will join neighboring Canada in banning the use of antipersonnel landmines."(66)

General Shalikashvili’s review was released at the same time that a draft report prepared for him by the Dupuy Institute, a thinktank for military issues, began to circulate publicly. The report stated that a global ban observed by most nations might, on balance, work in favor of U.S. armed forces.(67) At the same time Deputy Assistant Secretary of Defense Timothy Connolly, a Gulf War veteran, pushed for a ban with an exception in the Korean demilitarized zone.(68) A senior military officer admitted that there was more support among officers for banning mines than had emerged publicly.(69)

On April 3 the Vietnam Veterans of America Foundation published a full-page, pro-ban letter in the New York Times signed by fifteen retired flag-rank U.S. officers, including Gulf War commander Gen. Norman Schwarzkopf:

We...conclude that you as Commander-in-Chief could responsibly take the lead in efforts to achieve a total permanent international ban on the production, stockpiling, sale, and use of antipersonnel landmines. We strongly urge you to do so.(70)

The letter had a tremendous impact on the media and Congress, both of whom became more comfortable challenging the Pentagon’s claims. However, it did not move its intended target, President Clinton. Facing reelection, Clinton was reluctant to question the Joint Chiefs, who were being aggressively lobbied by the regional commanders in Korea and elsewhere to hold firm.(71) He asked Vice President Al Gore to explore the issue, but Gore came down firmly against a ban, arguing that it would endanger U.S. troops.(72)

In April at a fundraising dinner for the FranklinRoosevelt memorial Clinton discussed the issue with Gen. Robert Gard, a military adviser to the Vietnam Veterans of American Foundation and one of the letter’s signers, and the foundation’s president, Bobby Muller. He said that while he wanted to negotiate a ban, he "could not afford a breach with the Joint Chiefs." He asked them to do what they could to "get the Joint Chiefs off my back" so he could move toward a ban.(73)

Clinton’s lack of involvement allowed the Pentagon process to play itself out. The regional commanders carried the day and Connolly was dismissed.(74) By the end of April the Pentagon had unified its policy, and then set out to dictate the administration’s policy. The Joint Chiefs’ first proposal was for a "ban 2010" plan that would phase out "dumb" mines in five years, and "smart mines" (except mixed systems) in 2010.(75) This proposal set the limits of debate within the administration, and is essentially the policy maintained to date.

Clinton repeatedly asked the Joint Chiefs if they could find a way to get the United States onto a ban treaty. The Joint Chiefs restated their support for Clinton’s goal of banning mines, but reported that their studies had not yet found workable alternatives.(76)

The Joint Chiefs insisted on searching for a particular device that would function like a mine but not be lethal, like a mine emitting sticky foam. This set at least a ten-year delay on signing a ban, because of the need for research, development, procurement, and deployment. What was needed, if the United States were to take part in a ban treaty in the short term, was simply an order to use already-available tactics and weapons to approximate the mine’s function of delaying enemy troops.

In 1995 Demilitarization for Democracy published a report that noted this distinction between replacing a weapon and replacing its function. The report suggested some alternative delaying tactics that would comply with a ban, such as placing a "man in the loop" of decisions to target with command-detonated Claymore mines, artillery, or aircraft areas where sensors or surveillance indicated enemy infiltration or attempts to tamper with anti-tank mines.(77)

Pentagon planning groups reported favorably on these tactical shifts, but correctly noted that they would not meet the requirement of a single device that worked as effectively as an antipersonnel mine in terms of money, number of U.S. forces required, and likely U.S. casualties.(78) General Gard and Nick Krawciw of the Dupuy Institute both encouraged the Pentagon to search for alternative tactics to fulfill such functions as slowing down enemy forces who are trying to disable anti-tank mines, and not for a replacement weapon.(79)

Under Army doctrine most anti-tank minefields are directly observed by U.S. forces in any event, andscattering antipersonnel mines raises the risk of fratricide if U.S. forces must change plans and move through an area when mines are still active. An internal Army report in 1997 said that air-dropped mines were the largest source of simulated combat deaths among U.S. troops during war games at the Army’s National Training Center.(80)

General Gard also promoted the idea, consistent with the Pentagon’s focus on discriminate firepower in its "Revolution in Military Affairs" doctrine, of simply jumping past the problem of finding other ways to protect anti-tank mines. Rather than concentrating resources on slowing tanks, he argued for buying more tank-killing weapons, such as the Multiple Launch Rocket System, the Army Tactical Missile system, and a variety of guided bombs, rockets and artillery-fired anti-tank projectiles.(81)

Clinton’s political caution toward the armed forces kept his National Security Council staff from engaging, or even monitoring, the Joint Chiefs and the Pentagon planning groups in a search for such alternative tactics. In this permissive environment, years could and did slip by without progress. The staff revealed their passive role in 1996 when they declined a request by ban campaigners to assess the role of mines in Korea.

President Clinton had publicly claimed that if U.S. mines were removed, North Korea would defeat U.S. and South Korean forces and seize Seoul.(82) This was not, as a report by Demilitarization for Democracy, Exploding the Landmine Myth in Korea, pointed out, actually the result of the Pentagon’s war games. Even with its extremely pessimistic assumptions (for example, weather that grounded allied aircraft but permitted a rare fording of rivers; allied refusal to attack North Korean forces during a week of obvious preparation for invasion; and rapid enemy advance despite allied control of the air and of the well-fortified, mountainous terrain) the war games found that a North Korean invasion would be defeated before it could take Seoul.(83)

The National Security Council staff were pressed by ban advocates to review the extreme assumptions, rerun the war games with more reasonable asssumptions, and ask for the replacement of mines in the study with a variety of currently available alternative tactics. They declined, with a senior staffer explaining why:

I trust General Shalikashvili. We aren’t experts on war games. We have to accept his findings.(84)

Clinton won reelection in 1996, but the decision he had made to allow the Pentagon to determine mines policy was now completely entrenched. The Ottawa process was initiated in October 1996 in the Canadian capital at a planning meeting of pro-ban states and nongovernmental groups, when Canadian foreign minister Lloyd Axworthy stunned the delegates with a call to reconvene in December 1997 and sign a ban treaty. Conferences to discuss different draft treaties were held in Vienna in February, Bonn in April, and Brussels in June. By the summer of 1997 over one hundred governments, including the United Kingdom, the earlier U.S. partner in the smart-mines proposal, had signed a declaration affirming their objective of concluding the negotiation for an antipersonnel-mine-ban treaty by the end of the year.(85)

Canada and the other pro-ban states kept theInternational Committee of the Red Cross and the International Campaign to Ban Landmines fully involved in the drafting and the strategy of a ban treaty. The participation of these groups prevented the process from being mired down in details, and helped keep it moving toward completion. The United States was also present during the preparatory conferences, but because it was an observer asking for exceptions rather than a pro-ban state, it remained on the fringe of decision-making.(86)

Clinton decided to send a full delegation to the final drafting session in Oslo in September 1997. It was controlled by the Pentagon’s agenda, included top-ranking U.S. generals, and had specific orders not to sign without guaranteeing its two exemptions: Korea and mixed canisters of antipersonnel and anti-tank mines.(87) Former ban advocate and now Secretary of State Albright wrote a letter to all the delegates restating the case for the loopholes.

The U.S. delegation claimed it had narrowed its differences with the text (outside of the issue of Korea) to only one word, "near," which would permit antipersonnel mines "near" anti-tank mines (as with U.S. "mixed" systems). The Vietnam Veterans of America Foundation’s Jody Williams, coordinator of the International Campaign to Ban Landmines, responded that this one word would have had the same effect as putting another single word, the word "not," before the word "banned" throughout the treaty.(88)

Despite a flurry of last-minute calls from Clinton to heads of state, including South African president Nelson Mandela and Canadian prime minister Jean Chretien, the treaty was completed with no exceptions.(89) Clinton had spent a year fruitlessly seeking loopholes from other countries rather than working with his own Pentagon to move toward workable military alternatives. A wave of pro-ban publicity, generated by, among other things, advertisements by the Vietnam Veterans of America Foundation, visits to mine victims by Princess Diana, circulars by the U.S. Catholic Conference, and speaking tours by the United Nations Association of the United States, failed to move Clinton, and the U.S. delegation arrived in Ottawa advocating the same position it had in Geneva.

In December 1997 over 120 nations came to Ottawa to sign the International Treaty to Ban Antipersonnel Land Mines. The United States came to observe. The result of President Clinton’s unwillingness to challenge the Pentagon was that as pen was put to paper in Ottawa, the United States stood with China, Libya, and Iraq as an obstacle to the universalization of a historic humanitarian effort.

* * *

Chapter 4: Commander-in-Chief

Chemical Weapons: Roosevelt and the War in the Pacific

When President Franklin Roosevelt took office in 1933, he continued his predecessors’ policy of prohibiting the first use of chemical weapons and discouraging preparation for large-scale use of any kind. Public opinion was on his side, but the War Department was not. The War Department established its own formal policy calling for the use of chemical warfare, although it was unable to win Roosevelt’s approval for the necessary tools: higher appropriations and a Chemical Weapons Corps.(90)

In 1933 the World Disarmament Conference, at which Roosevelt had agreed to a British plan banning the use of chemical weapons and allowing preparation for defensive purposes only, failed to reach agreement on its more general treaty.(91) The State Department held that the United States was still legally bound to adhere to this position, but the War Department adopted a policy that "the United States is not a party to any treaty, now in force, that prohibits or restricts the use in warfare of toxic or non-toxic gases." It formed a Joint Board that in 1934 called for full preparation to use chemicals, both in retaliation and, because of the claimed lack of binding treaties, offensively.(92)

Legal disputes aside, the War Department was unable to win Roosevelt’s approval for significant production and distribution to the field of chemical weapons. The limited stores of these weapons remained physically isolated from combat units, and any decisionto move or use them remained with the president. According to a leading scholar in the field, it was primarily due to Roosevelt’s intransigence that the War Department’s recommendations were never carried out: "The attitude of the President was the most significant restraint to military implementation of the Joint Board policy."(93)

The United States entered World War II in 1941, leading the War Department to revisit the issue repeatedly over the next four years. Prior to U.S. entry, there were isolated cases of covert use of chemical weapons by Italy (against Ethiopia) and Japan (against China), and of course Germany murdered millions of civilians with chemicals. However, the Axis powers made a clear decision not to use these weapons against Allied forces or cities. Scholars of the period agree that this decision was motivated not just by the threat of Allied retaliation, a threat that, unknown to the Axis powers, was empty, at least in the short term.

The twenty years of stigmatization of chemical weapons, beginning with the Washington Conference in 1921, also played a role in convincing Germany, Italy, and Japan to forego the offensive use of these weapons. Strange as it seems, even dictators bent on invading their neighbors felt that they would be discredited if they flouted the international consensus against using chemical weapons. In this "total war" that broke the barrier against bombing cities, the Axis powers privately and publicly kept assuring the Allies that they were holding to the relevant international agreements regarding chemical weapons.(94)

From well before World War II, President Roosevelt had seen the far-ranging costs to U.S. security of the use of chemical weapons. After the United States entered the war, he continued to resist War Department requests to prepare for the massive use of these weapons, even in retaliation. In June 1943, Roosevelt made the U.S. position clear to even the most ardent War Department advocates. British Prime Minister Winston Churchill had stated that the Allied powers would respond in kind if the Germans initiated gas warfare against the Russians. Roosevelt agreed, but made a broader statement that took into account not just the military situation, but also the humanitarian aspects of the chemical weapons debate over the preceding twenty-five years:

I have been loath to believe that any nation, even our present enemies, could or would be willing to loose upon mankind such terrible and inhumane weapons…Use of such weapons has been outlawed by the general opinion of civilized mankind. This country has not used them, and I hope that we never will be compelled to use them. I state categorically that we shall under no circumstances resort to the use of such weapons unless they are first used by our enemies.(95)

By late 1943, however, Roosevelt was facing an important test of his resolve. The battles on the many Pacific Islands had been increasing in their ferocity, and the Japanese strategy of using caves and underground tunnels as centers for attack and escape had cost thousands of American troops their lives. The American media began a drumbeat for the use of chemical weapons to clear out Japanese resistance and save U.S. lives. Editorial headlines included: We Should Gas Japan, We Should Have Used Gas at Tarawa, and You Can Cook ‘Em Better with Gas.(96)

U.S. public opinion could easily have been swayed to accept such a policy. In September 1944 a poll concluded that only 23 percent of Americans would support the use of gas in the war with Japan, but that number increased to 40 percent by June 1945.(97) Japan, after all, had broken an international norm to start the war with a surprise attack. In addition, it had brutalized civilians in occupied territories and U.S. prisoners in violation of international treaties of far longer standing than those on chemical weapons.(98)

In 1944 the War Department was developing plans to take the Japanese stronghold of Iwo Jima. Chemical weapons were an integrated part of the plan.(99) There is little doubt that chemical shells wouldhave been far more effective than napalm in flushing out Japanese troops, and would have saved thousands of the twenty-five thousand American casualties when the invasion took place in February 1945. When Roosevelt received this recommendation from the War Department in 1944, he denied permission.(100) His simple, hand-written explanation on the request read: "All prior endorsements denied – Franklin D. Roosevelt, Commander in Chief."(101) The general responsible for the June 1944 invasion of Biak also removed chemical shells from his plans, because of his judgment that their use would violate what a historian called "known official policy."(102)

Roosevelt’s decision was clear. Army chief of staff George Marshall made sure that it was understood down through the ranks, rejecting requests for massive pre-positioning of chemical weapons in the Pacific as the war moved toward its conclusion. Roosevelt’s policy was so firm that it survived his death in April 1945. Proponents of chemical warfare were unable to muster enough momentum within the War Department even to bring the issue before President Truman.(103) The United States had adopted a clear, unbreakable policy. It would not be the first to use chemical weapons.

What had seemed impossible to imagine in 1919 had in fact occurred in the next major conflict: World War II ended without the use of chemical warfare. Only the leadership of presidents from Wilson to Roosevelt had made that possible. Their achievement cemented the stigma on chemical weapons that exists to this very day, as symbolized by the global Chemical Weapons Convention recently ratified by the U.S. Senate. Although he had used them in his war with Iran, not even Saddam Hussein was willing to risk the use of chemical weapons against Allied troops or Israeli cities in the Gulf War, thereby significantly reducing the risk to Allied soldiers and civilians alike. The taboo against chemical weapons proved to be in the long-term military and humanitarian interests of the United States, just as the presidents who had countered the War Department inorder to create and preserve it had predicted.

Land Mines: Clinton and the Continuing Search for Alternatives

After the failure of the United States to sign the ban treaty in Oslo the Pentagon moved quickly to consolidate its control over U.S. mine policy. It gained White House approval of a scheme to remove smart mines from the search for alternatives, by redefining them as explosive devices rather than mines. Ban supporters were stunned at this huge policy change that broke Clinton’s pledge to sign the Ottawa Treaty once alternatives had been developed.(104) The Pentagon’s response was that it still hoped the Ottawa Treaty would be revised to exempt antipersonnel mines placed "near" anti-tank mines – something no independent observer thought possible.(105)

The Pentagon then went after its next target, a waiver of the one-year moratorium on use that would go into effect in 1999. A Pentagon report to Congress cited endangerment of Seoul and an estimate that allied casualties would rise by 40 percent in combat without antipersonnel mines.(106) Secretary of Defense William Cohen and Joint Chiefs of Staff chairman Gen. Henry Shelton told the Senate Armed Services Committee that the moratorium "constitutes an unacceptable risk to our troops and threatens mission accomplishment."(107)

As part of the push for a waiver, and to defend the decision not to sign in Ottawa, administration representatives began claiming that antipersonnel mines had devastating effectiveness in the Gulf War. When pressed for details, they cited the experience of White House anti-drug coordinator, Gen. Barry McCaffrey, who commanded a division in the Gulf War:

Imagine the Gulf War...Imagine General (Barry) McCaffrey’s 24th Mechanized Division with a left hook into Iraq. He’s out there with no protection on his flanks, maneuvering. And you see an enemy force coming in on his flank. You pick up the phone, call in an air strike. The aircraft comes over and drops this canister in front of the Republican Guard unit that’s threatening his flank and puts down this field of anti-tank mines with their protective munitions as part of it.(108)

"Imagine" was an appropriate word for the White House staff to use. A detailed history of the Gulf War reports that during the one hundred hours of ground combat, McCaffrey’s division was protected on its flanks by other U.S. units, and that the Iraqi forces it met were fleeing and surrendering rather than counterattacking.(109) According to the offical history ofMcCaffrey’s Twenty-Fourth Mechanized Infantry Division and its role in the Gulf War, the only reported use McCaffrey made of mines came two days after the cease-fire, when a firefight broke out by mistake as he pushed forward into an Iraqi armored column.(110) Far from threatening his flank, the Iraqis were retreating into central Iraq in compliance with the terms of the cease-fire, and the U.S. mines that were delivered by artillery, not from the air, were redundant.

The Iraqis were retreating north toward the Hawr-al-Hammar causeway, which crosses a massive swamp, when they came into contact with General McCaffrey’s division, which was coming from the west. After a confused initial exchange of fire, McCaffrey ordered the destruction of the armored column. Apache helicopters closed off the northern end of the causeway, U.S. artillery fired self-destructing anti-tank mines (with antipersonnel mines mixed in) onto the southern entrance and to the rear of the Iraqi column, and U.S. tanks and artillery destroyed 346 Iraqi vehicles (including 30 tanks) with long-range fire.

While the mines might have sealed off the causeway’s southern end, few Iraqi vehicles had a chance even to reach the mined entrance to the causeway, since U.S. tanks and artillery could pick them off from longrange. In addition, McCaffrey turned down air attacks that could have easily destroyed the Iraqi vehicles.(111) McCaffrey declined to be interviewed or to respond in writing to this portrayal of his use of mines.(112)

Ban opponents in the House told the Senate Armed Services Committee that they would insist on a waiver of the deadline, rather than agree to drop it in conference committee at the behest of Senator Leahy, as they had twice before. Leahy and Rep. Lane Evans agreed to permit the waiver in exchange for a Presidential Decision Directive stating an intention to sign the Ottawa Treaty when alternatives became available, and for a reversal of the explosive devices redefinition that had exempted smart mines from the search for alternatives.(113)

The waiver was agreed to by the Senate in June 1998, with the addition of the Leahy language providing funding and a mandate for two studies on alternatives to mines, to be done by the Pentagon and the independent National Academy of Sciences.(114) Leahy had hoped to include in the legislation the Presidential Decision Directive statement of intent to sign the Ottawa Treaty, but dropped his effort when Sen. Ted Stevens threatened to offer an amendment that would bar U.S. signature without the approval of the Joint Chiefs of Staff.(115) Stevens’s amendment was patently unconstitutional, since it would have conditioned the actions of a commander-in-chief on the permission of his subordinates, but it accurately reflected the relationship between commander-in-chief Clinton and his military advisers on the issue of land mines.

With the definition of a land mine now clear and with funds appropriated for competing studies of alternative tactics, technologies, and weapons, the United States is in a position to move toward signing the Ottawa Treaty. President Clinton and his National Security Council staff must closely monitor the Pentagon’s study, so that it identifies the most workable options rather than simply reports, again, that nothing works quite as well as antipersonnel mines.

If President Clinton becomes deeply involved in the search for alternatives to land mines and then orders that the best options identified in both the Pentagon and independent studies be implemented, he will take his place in history beside the five other commanders-in-chief who bucked the odds, challenged the notion that the armed forces can be the sole arbiter of weapons policy, and banned an indiscriminate weapon. As was the case for the banning of chemical weapons, not just innocent civilians but U.S. troops will thank him for his leadership for generations to come.

* * *


1) Ruth Leger Sivard, World Military and Social Expenditures 1993, 15th Ed. (Washington, DC: World Priorities, 1993), p. 20.

2) Frederic Brown, Chemical Warfare: A Study in Restraints (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1968), pp. 267-8. This book is a definitive work on the history of chemical weapons. The bulk of the references to the history of the movement to ban chemical weapons in this report come from this book. Further, Price’s The Chemical Weapons Taboo, as well as other sources used in this report, use Chemical Warfare as a major source.

3) Interview with Lt. Gen. Robert Gard, Jr., Vietnam Veterans of America Foundation, Washington, DC, May 1996.

4) Letter from Nick Krawciw, the Dupuy Institute, to Gen. John Shalikashvili, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, January 2, 1997.

5) Brown, Chemical Warfare, pp. 6-8.

6) Benedict Crowell, Army Reorganization Act Hearings, as cited in Brown, p. 32; and Augustin Prentiss, as cited in John Van Courtland Moon, "Controlling Chemical and Biological Weapons Through World War II," in Encyclopedia of Arms Control and Disarmament, vol. 2, Richard Dean Burns, ed. (New York: Charles Scribner’s Sons, 1993), p. 662.

7) Brown, Chemical Warfare, p. 52.

8) Richard M. Price, The Chemical Weapons Taboo (Ithaca, NY: Cornell University Press, 1997), p. 72.

9) Brown, Chemical Warfare, p. 54.

10) U.S. Congress, Senate, Hearings: Special Committee Investigating the Munitions Industry pursuant to S. 206, 74th Congress, 2nd Session (1936), Garvan Cable for Palmer Bradley, April 19, 1919. Exhibit 4874D, as cited in Brown, p. 55.

11) Brown, Chemical Warfare, p. 55-6.

12) Ibid, p.55.

13) Ibid, p. 54.

14) Ibid, p. 167.

15) Price, The Chemical Weapons Taboo, p. 71.

16) U.S. Congress, Senate, Hearings…, Exhibit 913, as cited in Brown, p. 58.

17) U.S. Congress, Senate, Hearings…, Exhibit 914, Address by Dr. William Hale, Vice President of Dow Chemical Company to the Rotary Club of Flint MI, December 16, 1921, as cited in Brown, p. 54.

18) Brown, Chemical Warfare, pp. 58-9.

19) The New York Times, January 8, 1922, as cited in Price, p. 85.

20) Interview with congressional staff, Washington, DC, July 1992.

21) Remarks by Senator Patrick Leahy, "Introduction of the Anti-Personnel Landmine Moratorium Act," July 30, 1992.

22) Second NGO Conference on Landmines Participants – Preliminary List, May 1994.

23) David A. Hackworth, "The Troops: Learning About the War the Hard Way," Newsweek, December 4, 1995, p. 33; Karen Long, "Hidden Killers: Mines Kill, Maim Long After War," Plain Dealer (Cleveland OH), October 16, 1995; and Edward Ruiz, "Cambodia: Land of mines and amputees," The Desert News (Salt Lake City, UT), September 7, 1995.

24) Interview with General Gard, Washington, DC, January 1999.

25) Vago Muradian, "U.S. Mine Farms Hit Foreign Ban: Claim Overseas Sales are Critical to Keep Design Skills," Defense News, July 19-25, 1993, p. 36.

26) White House, Office of the Press Secretary, Fact Sheet, "U.S. Policy on a Landmine Control Regime," September 26, 1994.

27) Project on Demilitarization and Democracy, Hostile Takeover (Washington, DC, November 1995), pp. 9-11.

28) William Taylor, "Potentially Explosive US Land-mine Ban," The Washington Times, October 17, 1993.

29) Briefing given to Instructors at the United States Military Academy, West Point, 1994.

30) Gard, Alternatives to Antipersonnel Landmines (Washington, DC: Vietnam Veterans of America Foundation, April 1999), pp. 24-5.

31) Interviews with John Holum, director of the Arms Control and Disarmament Agency (ACDA), ACDA staff, and State Department staff, Washington, DC, 1995.

32) "Ease threat from land mines," The Patriot-News (Harrisburg, PA), July 19, 1995.

33) Brown, Chemical Warfare, p. 72.

34) Price, The Chemical Weapons Taboo, p. 72; and Brown, Chemical Warfare, p. 61.

35) Brown, Chemical Warfare, pp. 77-85.

36) Ibid, p. 61.

37) Memorandum from Gen. Amos Fries, commander, Chemical Warfare Service, to the assistant secretary of state, War Planning Division, October 17, 1921, as cited in Brown, p. 62.

38) Charles Evans Hughes, U.S. secretary of state, Minutes from a presentation to the sixteenth meeting of the Committee on the Limitation of Armaments, January 6, 1922, as cited in Brown, p. 63.

39) Admiral de Bon, French delegate to the Washington Conference on the Limitation of Armament, cited in Price, p. 77.

40) Brown, Chemical Warfare, p. 64.

41) Minutes, Sixteenth Meeting of the Committee on Limitation of Armament, January 6, 1922, as cited in Brown, p. 65.

42) Brown, Chemical Warfare, p. 64.

43) Treaty Between the United States of America, the British Empire, France, Italy and Japan Relating to the Use of Submarines and Noxious Gases in Warfare, article V. February 6, 1922, as cited in Brown, p. 67.

44) Sen. Patrick Leahy, "Question to Secretary of State Warren Christopher," Senate Hearing on Landmines Moratorium, March 30, 1993.

45) Paul Lewis, "Makers of Anti-Personnel Mines Are Urged by U.S. to Ban Exports," New York Times, December 16, 1993.

46) Interview with the staff of Rep. Martin Olav Sabo and attendance at a public meeting with his staff, Washington, DC, 1993.

47) Lora Lumpe, "Report on ATWG Delegation Activities at the CCW Review Conference, Vienna, 25 September-13 October 1995," November 1, 1995.

48) Stephen D. Biddle, Julia L. Klare and Jaeson Rosenfeld, The Military Utility of Landmines: Implications for Arms Control (Alexandria, VA: Institute for Defense Analysis, 1995), p. iii.

49) Lumpe, "Report on ATWG Delegation Activities."

50) Robert O. Muller, "The Land Mine Scourge—How Much Longer?" Christian Science Monitor, February 8, 1996.

51) Anne Goldfeld and Holly Myers, "Ban the land mines," The Boston Globe, December 21, 1995.

52) Ambassador Michael Matheson, U.S. arms negotiator, as cited in Colum Lynch, "U.S. Supports Limited-life Land Mines," The Boston Globe, March 5, 1996.

53) Brown, Chemical Warfare, pp. 74-9.

54) Memorandum to Secretary of State Frank B. Kellogg, "Chemical Warfare Service Functions, G-3/5749," Chemical Warfare Service Policy Book, March 28, 1927, p. 11, as cited in Brown, p. 92.

55) Brown, Chemical Warfare, p. 98.

56) Ibid, p. 99.

57) League of Nations, Proceedings of the Conference for the Supervision of the International Trade in Arms and Ammunition and in Implements of War, Annex 3, 739, Geneva, 1925, as cited in Brown, p. 101.

58) League of Nations, Protocol for the Prohibition of the Use in War of Asphyxiating, Poisonous or Other Gases, and of Bacteriological Methods of Warfare, Geneva, 1925, as cited in Brown, p. 101.

59) Brown, Chemical Warfare, p. 101.

60) Ibid, p. 103.

61) Senator James Wadsworth, U.S. Congressional Record, 69th Congress, 2nd Session, LXVIII, Part 1, 149, as cited in Brown, p. 106.

62) Letter from Secretary of State Frank B. Kellogg, toMr. C. L. Parsons, secretary, American Chemical Society, December 7, 1926, as cited in Brown, p. 108.

63) Cable from Secretary of State Henry L. Stimson, to the secretary of state for the American delegation, Geneva, April 2, 1932, as cited in Brown, p. 112.

64) Brown, Chemical Warfare, pp. 112-3.

65) The Associated Press, "Leahy Happy with Pentagon Rethinking Policy on Mines," The Washington Times, March 18, 1996.

66) J. Brian Atwood, "The Legacy of Land Mines," Christian Science Monitor, March 21, 1996.

67) Letter from Nick Krawciw, The Dupuy Institute, to Gen. John Shalikashvili, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, January 2, 1997.

68) Raymond Bonner, "Pentagon Weighs Ending Opposition to a Ban on Mines," The New York Times, March 17, 1996.

69) Ibid.

70) Vietnam Veterans of America Foundation, "An Open Letter to President Clinton," April 3, 1996.

71) Bonner, "Pentagon Weighs Ending Opposition."

72) Interview with Mike Leaveck, Vietnam Veterans of America Foundation, Washington, DC, December 1998.

73) Interview with General Gard, Washington, DC, January 1999.

74) The Associated Press, "U.S. Official Dismissed; Opposed All Landmines," The New York Times, April 19, 1996.

75) The Associated Press, "Advisors Urge Clinton to Renounce Land Mine Use, but Not Immediately," The Washington Post, April 18, 1996.

76) Philip Shenon, "Joint Chiefs Weaken Proposal for Land-Mine Moratorium," The New York Times, May 11, 1996.

77) Project on Demilitarization and Democracy, Making the World Unsafe for Landmines: A Timetable for Developing Military Alternatives and Implementing a Worldwide Ban on the Smallest Weapon of Mass Destruction (Washington, DC, June 1995), pp. 6-8.

78) Briefing by Brig. Gen. Larry J. Dodgen, deputy assistant secretary of defense for policy and missions, Arlington, VA, December 11, 1996.

79) Presentation by General Gard to the United States Campaign to Ban Landmines, Washington, DC, April 1998; and Letter from Nick Krawciw, The Dupuy Institute, to Gen. John Shalikashvili, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, January 2, 1997.

80) George Wilson, "Report blames land mines for fratricide at NTC," Army Times, October 13, 1997.

81) Gard, The Military Utility of Anti-Personnel (AP) Mines (Washington, DC: Vietnam Veterans of America Foundation, 1998), p. 25; and Gard, Alternatives to Antipersonnel Landmines.

82) Demilitarization for Democracy, Exploding the Landmine Myth in Korea (Washington, DC, August 1997), p.1.

83) Ibid, pp. 1-4.

84) Meeting of the United States Campaign to Ban Landmines with National Security Council staff, Washington, DC, June 1996.

85) International Campaign to Ban Landmines, Report on Activities: Diplomatic Conference on an International Total Ban on Anti-Personnel Landmines (Oslo, September 1-18, 1997), p. 3.

86) Interview with Representatives of the International Campaign to Ban Landmines, Washington DC, January-August 1997.

87) International Campaign to Ban Landmines, Report on Activities, p. 116.

88) "U.S. To Make Final Attempt to Maim Landmine Ban Treaty," International Campaign to Ban Landmines, September 15, 1997, press release.

89) Interview with representatives of the International Campaign to Ban Landmines, Washington, DC, September 1997.

90) Brown, Chemical Warfare, pp. 122-5.

91) Ibid, pp. 119-20.

92) Ibid, pp. 122-3.

93) Ibid, p. 124.

94) Price, The Chemical Weapons Taboo, pp. 117-20.

95) Statement by President Franklin D. Roosevelt, June 8, 1943, as cited in Brown, pp. 264-5.

96) "We Should Have Used Gas at Tarawa," Washington Times Herald, December 20, 1943; "We Should Gas Japan," New York Daily News, November 20, 1943; E. Lindley, "Thoughts on the Use of Gas in Warfare," Newsweek, November 20, 1943; "You Can Cook ‘Em Better with Gas," Washington Times Herald, February 1, 1944; and G. F. Eliot, "Should We Gas the Japs?" Popular Science Monthly, August 1945, as cited in Price, p. 125.

97) Brown, Chemical Warfare, p. 287.

98) Price, The Chemical Weapons Taboo, p. 125.

99) Brown, Chemical Warfare, pp. 268, 287.

100) Interview with James Bradley, Washington, DC, October 1998.

101) President Franklin D. Roosevelt, as cited in Richard Wheeler, Iwo (New York: Lippincott and Crowell, 1980), p. 13.

102) Brown, Chemical Warfare, p. 269; and H. Riegelman, Caves of Biak (New York: The Dial Press, 1955), p. 153.

103) Brown, Chemical Warfare, pp. 271-5.

104) Dana Priest, "Administration Drops Plans to Find Substitutes for Antipersonnel Mine," The Washington Post, October 31, 1998.

105) Interview with Jan Lodal, deputy assistant secretary of defense, Washington, DC, April 1998.

106) Lt. Col. Mike Thumm, USMC, Report to Congress on the Anti-Personnel Landmine Use Moratorium (Washington, DC: Department of Defense, April 15, 1998).

107) Steven Lee Myers, "Clinton Seeks to Overturn Land Mine Moratorium," The New York Times, May 3, 1998.

108) Robert Bell, National Security Council Arms Specialist, as cited in Joseph Fitchett, "European and US Allies Split on Use of Landmines on NATO Soil," International Herald Tribune, February 5, 1998.

109) Michael Gordon and Bernard Trainor, The Generals’ War (Boston: Back Bay Books, 1995), pp. 435-8.

110) Jason Kamiya, History of the 24th Mechanized Infantry Divisional Combat Team during Operation Desert Storm: The Attack to free Kuwait, January through March 1991 (Fort Benning, GA: United States Army, March 1991), p.56.

111) Letter from Caleb Rossiter, Director, Demilitarization for Democracy, to Gen. Barry McCaffrey, May 14, 1999.

112) Gordon and Trainor, The Generals’ War, pp. 435-8; and Kamiya, History of the 24th Mechanized Infantry, p. 56.

113) Letter from Samuel Berger, NSC assistant secretary for national security affairs, to Senator Leahy, May 15, 1998; and Senator Leahy, Statement on US Policy Concerning the International Landmine Treaty, May 22, 1998.

114) Senator Leahy, Statement.

115) Interview with congressional staff, Washington, DC, May 1998.

This report was produced by a writing team from Demilitarization for Democracy (DFD), a U.S. arms-control -advocacy organization that in July 1999 merged with the Center for International Policy. DFD’s guiding theme is the work of Nobel Peace Prize laureate Oscar Arias. During his successful pursuit of a Central American peace accord in the 1980s, Arias said that democracy and peace require demilitarization -- dramatic reductions in conflict, military spending, and the political and economic power of armed forces.

The Demilitarization for Democracy project at the Center for International Policy will promote three programs to mobilize U.S. support for demilitarization and democratization of developing countries:

-The "No Arms to Dictators" Code of Conduct

-The Year 2000 Campaign, to Redirect World Military Spending to Human Development

-The International and U.S. Campaigns to Ban Land Mines

Requests for additional reports, interviews, and public appearances may be directed to the Center for International Policy.

Copyright 1999 by the Center for International Policy. All rights reserved. Any material herein may be quoted without permission, with credit to the Center for International Policy. The Center is a nonprofit educational and research organization focusing on U.S. policy toward the developing world and its impact on human rights and needs.

Hard copies of this report are available for US $3.00 each, or $1.00 each for orders of 20 or more. Request them by email at, or send a check or money order and a note with your address and number of copies to: IPR orders, Center for International Policy, 1755 Massachusetts Ave. NW, Suite 312, Washington, DC 20036.

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