ICRC databases on international humanitarian law
  • Print page

"I. The senate's advice and consent is subject to the following reservation:

"The United States reserves the right to use other devices (as defined in Article 2(5) of the Amended Mines Protocol) to destroy any stock of food or drink that is judged likely to be used by an enemy military force, if due precautions are taken for the safety of the civilian population."

II. The Senate's advice and consent is subject to the following understandings:

(1) UNITED STATES COMPLIANCE, - The United States understands that -

(A) any decision by any military commander, military personnel, or any other person responsible for planning, authorizing, or executing military action shall only be judged on the basis of that person's assessment of the information reasonably available to the person at the time the person planned, authorized, or executed the action under review, and shall not be judged on the basis of information that comes to light after the action under review was taken; and

(B) Article 14 of the Amended Mines Protocol (insofar as it relates to penal sanctions) shall apply only in a situation in which an individual -

(i) knew, or should have known, that his action was prohibited under the Amended Mines Protocol;

(ii) intended to kill or cause serious injury to a civilian; and

(iii) knew or should have known, that the person he intended to kill or cause serious injury was a civilian.

(2) EFFECTIVE EXCLUSION. - The United States understands that, for the purposes of Article 5(6)(b) of the Amended Mines Protocol, the maintenance of observation over avenues of approach where mines subject to that Article are deployed constitutes one acceptable form of monitoring to ensure the effective exclusion of civilians.

(3) HISTORIC MONUMENTS. - The United states understands that Article 7(1)(i) of the Amended Mines Protocol refers only to a limited class of objects that, because of their clearly recognizable characteristics and because of their widely recognized importance, constitute a part of the cultural or spiritual heritage of peoples.

(4) LEGITIMATE MILITARY OBJECTIVES. - The United States understands that an area of land itself can be a legitimate military objective for the purpose of the use of landmines, if its neutralization or denial, in the circumstances applicable at the time, offers a military advantage.

(5) PEACE TREATIES. - The United States understands that the allocation of responsibilities for landmines in Article 5(2)(b) of the Amended Mines Protocol does not preclude agreement, in connection with peace treaties or similar arrangements, to allocate responsibilities under that Article in a manner that respects the essential spirit and purpose of the Article.

(6) BOOBY-TRAPS AND OTHER DEVICES. - For the purposes of the Amended Mines Protocol, the United States understands that -

(A) the prohibition contained in Article 7(2) of the Amended Mines Protocol does not preclude the expedient adaptation or adaptation in advance of other objects for use as booby-traps or other devices;

(B) a trip-wired hand grenade shall be considered a "booby-trap" under Article 2(4) of the Amended Mines Protocol and shall not be considered a "mine" or an "anti-personnel mine" under Article 2(1) or Article 2(3), respectively; and

(C) none of the provisions of the Amended Mines Protocol, including Article 2(5), applies to hand grenades other than trip-wired hand grenades.

(7) NON-LETHAL CAPABILITIES. - The United States understands that nothing in the Amended Mines Protocol may be construed as restricting or affecting in any way non-lethal weapon technology that is designed to temporarily disable, stun, signal the presence of a person, or operate in any other fashion, but not to cause permanent incapacity.

(8) INTERNATIONAL TRIBUNAL JURISDICTION. - The United States understands that the provisions of Article 14 of the Amended Mines Protocol relating to penal sanctions refer to measures by the authorities of States Parties to the Protocol and do not authorize the trial of any person before an international criminal tribunal. The United States shall not recognize the jurisdiction of any international tribunal to prosecute a United States citizen for a violation of the Protocol or the Convention on Conventional Weapons.

(9) TECHNICAL COOPERATION AND ASSISTANCE. - The United States understands that -

(A) no provision of the Protocol may be construed as affecting the discretion of the United States to refuse assistance or to restrict or deny permission for the export of equipment, material, or scientific or technological information for any reason; and

(B) the Amended Mines Protocol may not be used as a pretext for the transfer of weapons technology or the provision of assistance to the military mining or military counter-mining capabilities of a State Party to the Protocol."
24.05.1999

24.05.1999