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Trump shifts to authorize wider US military use of landmines

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Posted at 6:09 PM, Jan 31, 2020
and last updated 2020-02-01 23:17:18-05

The Trump administration has canceled an Obama-era prohibition on the use of anti-personnel landmines outside of the Korean peninsula.

A White House announcement Friday said the U.S. policy shift authorizes military commanders, "in exceptional circumstances,” to use landmines designed to reduce unintended harm to civilians. President Barack Obama in 2014 had prohibited the use of landmines except in defense of South Korea.

Earlier Friday, Defense Secretary Mark Esper made the case for giving military commanders the latitude to use landmines as a means to “shape the battlefield” and protect American forces. Critics of the new Trump policy call it dangerous.