Text - Treaty Document: Senate Consideration of Treaty Document 105-1All Information (Except Treaty Text)

A Senate treaty document provides the text of the treaty as transmitted to the Senate, as well as the transmittal letter from the President, the submittal letter from the Secretary of State, and accompanying papers.

Text of Treaty Document available as:

For complete and accurate display of this text, see the PDF.

[Senate Treaty Document 105-1]
[From the U.S. Government Printing Office]



105th Congress                                              Treaty Doc.
                                SENATE
 1st   Session                                                    105-1
_______________________________________________________________________


 
         PROTOCOLS TO THE 1980 CONVENTIONAL WEAPONS CONVENTION

                               __________

                                MESSAGE

                                  from

                   THE PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES

                              transmitting

PROTOCOLS TO THE 1980 CONVENTION ON PROHIBITIONS OR RESTRICTIONS ON THE 
     USE OF CERTAIN CONVENTIONAL WEAPONS WHICH MAY BE DEEMED TO BE 
 EXCESSIVELY INJURIOUS OR TO HAVE INDISCRIMINATE EFFECTS: THE AMENDED 
  PROTOCOL ON PROHIBITIONS OR RESTRICTIONS ON THE USE OF MINES, BOOBY-
 TRAPS AND OTHER DEVICES (PROTOCOL II OR THE AMENDED MINES PROTOCOL); 
 THE PROTOCOL ON PROHIBITIONS OR RESTRICTIONS ON THE USE OF INCENDIARY 
  WEAPONS (PROTOCOL III OR THE INCENDIARY WEAPONS PROTOCOL); AND THE 
            PROTOCOL ON BLINDING LASER WEAPONS (PROTOCOL IV)




January 7, 1997.--Protocols were read the first time and, together with 
the accompanying papers, referred to the Committee on Foreign Relations 
          and ordered to be printed for the use of the Senate


                         LETTER OF TRANSMITTAL

                              ----------                              

                                  The White House, January 7, 1997.
To the Senate of the United States:
    I transmit herewith, for the advice and consent of the 
Senate to ratification, the following Protocols to the 1980 
Convention on Prohibitions or Restrictions on the Use of 
Certain Conventional Weapons Which May Be Deemed to Be 
Excessively Injurious or to Have Indiscriminate Effects: the 
amended Protocol on Prohibitions or Restrictions on the Use of 
Mines, Booby-Traps and Other Devices (Protocol II or the 
amended Mines Protocol); the Protocol on Prohibitions or 
Restrictions on the Use of Incendiary Weapons (Protocol III or 
the Incendiary Weapons Protocol); and the Protocol on Blinding 
Laser Weapons (protocol IV). Also transmitted for the 
information of the Senate is the report of the Department of 
State with respect to these Protocols, together with article-
by-article analyses.
    The most important of these Protocols is the amended Mines 
Protocol. It is an essential step forward in dealing with the 
problem of anti-personnel landmines (APL) and in minimizing the 
very severe casualties to civilians that have resulted from 
their use. It is an important precursor to the total 
prohibition of these weapons that the United States seeks.
    Among other things, the amended Mines Protocol will do the 
following: (1) expand the scope of the original Protocol to 
include internal armed conflicts, where most civilian mine 
casualties have occurred; (2) require that all remotely 
delivered anti-personnel mines be equipped with self-destruct 
devices and backup self-deactivation features to ensure that 
they do not pose a long-term threat to civilians; (3) require 
that all nonremotely delivered anti-personnel mines that are 
not equipped with such devices be used only within controlled, 
marked, and monitored minefields to protect the civilian 
population in the area; (4) require that all anti-personnel 
mines be detectable using commonly available technology to make 
the task of mine clearance easier and safer; (5) require that 
the party laying mines assume responsibility for them to ensure 
against their irresponsible and indiscriminate use; and (6) 
provide more effective means for dealing with compliance 
problems to ensure that these restrictions are actually 
observed. These objectives were all endorsed by the Senate in 
its Resolution of Ratification of the Convention in March 1995.
    The amended Mines Protocol was not as strong as we would 
have preferred. In particular, its provisions on verification 
and compliance are not as rigorous as we had proposed, and the 
transition periods allowed for the conversion or elimination of 
certain noncompliant mines are longer than we thought 
necessary. We shall pursue these issues in the regular meetings 
that the amended Protocol provides for review of its operation.
    Nonetheless, I am convinced that this amended Protocol 
will, if generally adhered to, save many lives and prevent many 
tragic injuries. It will, as well, help to prepare the ground 
for the total prohibition of anti-personnel landmines to which 
the United States is committed. In this regard, I cannot 
overemphasize how seriously the United States takes the goal of 
eliminating APL entirely. The carnage and devastation caused by 
anti-personnel landmines--the hidden killers that murder and 
maim more than 25,000 people every year--must end.
    On May 16, 1996, I launched an international effort to this 
end. This initiative sets out a concrete path to a global ban 
on anti-personnel landmines and is one of my top arms control 
priorities. At the same time, the policy recognizes that the 
United States has international commitments and 
responsibilities that must be taken into account in any 
negotiations on a total ban. As our work on this initiative 
progresses, we will continue to consult with the Congress.
    The second of these Protocols--the Protocol on Incendiary 
Weapons--is a part of the original Convention but was not sent 
to the Senate for advice and consent with the other 1980 
Protocols in 1994 because of concerns about the acceptability 
of the Protocol from a military point of view. Incendiary 
weapons have significant potential military value, particularly 
with respect to flammable military targets that cannot so 
readily be destroyed with conventional explosives.
    At the same time, these weapons can be misused in a manner 
that could cause heavy civilian casualties. In particular, the 
Protocol prohibits the use of air-delivered incendiary weapons 
against targets located in a city, town, village, or other 
concentration of civilians, a practice that caused very heavy 
civilian casualties in past conflicts.
    The executive branch has given very careful study to the 
Incendiaries Protocol and has developed a reservation that 
would, in our view, make it acceptable from a broader national 
security perspective. This proposed reservation, the text of 
which appears in the report of the Department of State, would 
reserve the right to use incendiaries against military 
objectives located in concentrations of civilians where it is 
judged that such use would cause fewer casualties and less 
collateral damage than alternative weapons.
    The third of these Protocols--the new Protocol on Blinding 
Lasers--prohibits the use or transfer of laser weapons 
specifically designed to cause permanent blindness to 
unenhanced vision (that is, to the naked eye or to the eye with 
corrective devices). The Protocol also requires Parties to take 
all feasible precautions in the employment of other laser 
systems to avoid the incidence of such blindness.
    These blinding lasers are not needed by our military 
forces. They are potential weapons of the future, and the 
United States is committed to preventing their emergence and 
use. The United States supports the adoption of this new 
Protocol.
    I recommend that the Senate give its early and favorable 
consideration to these Protocols and give its advice and 
consent to ratification, subject to the conditions described in 
the accompanying report of the Department of State. The prompt 
ratification of the amended Mines Protocol is particularly 
important, so that the United States can continue its position 
of leadership in the effort to deal with the humanitarian 
catastrophe of irresponsible landmine use.

                                                William J. Clinton.


                          LETTER OF SUBMITTAL

                              ----------                              

                                       Department of State,
                                      Washington, December 7, 1996.
The President,
The White House.
    The President: I have the honor to submit to you, with a 
view to transmission to the Senate for advice and consent to 
ratification, three protocols to the Convention on Prohibitions 
or Restriction on the Use of Certain Conventional Weapons Which 
May be Deemed to be Excessively Injurious or to Have 
Indiscriminate Effects (the Convention): (A) the Amended 
Protocol on Prohibitions or Restrictions on the Use of Mines, 
Booby-Traps and Other Devices adopted at Geneva on May 3, 1996 
(Protocol II or the Amended Mines Protocol); (B) the Protocol 
on Prohibitions or Restrictions on the Use of Incendiary 
Weapons adopted at Geneva on October 10, 1980 (Protocol III or 
the Incendiary Weapons Protocol); and (C) the Protocol on 
Blinding Laser Weapons adopted at Geneva on May 3, 1996 
(Protocol IV). Also submitted for transmittal for the 
information of the Senate is the report of the Department of 
State with respect to these Protocols, together with article-
by-article analyses.

                               Background

    The Convention was concluded at Geneva on October 10, 1980, 
and signed by the United States on April 8, 1982. It entered 
into force on December 2, 1983, and, along with two of its 
Protocols, was ratified by the United States on March 24, 1995.
    The Convention is part of a legal regime dealing with the 
conduct of armed conflict, including the four 1949 Geneva 
Conventions on the Protection of the Victims of War and the 
1899 and 1907 Hague Conventions Respecting the Laws and Customs 
of War on Land. These important treaties attempt to reduce the 
suffering caused by armed conflicts and provide protection to 
the victims of war in a manner consistent with legitimate 
military requirements. The Convention, adopted October 10, 
1980, contained three Protocols, each of which regulated the 
use of a particular type of conventional weapon thought to pose 
special risks of indiscriminate effects or unnecessary 
suffering. Protocol I, the Non-detectable Fragments Protocol, 
prohibits the use of any weapon the primary effect of which is 
to injure by fragments which in the human body escape detection 
by X-rays. Protocol II, the Mines Protocol, contains a detailed 
set of restrictions on the use of mines, booby-traps and 
similar devices, which are discussed at greater length below. 
Protocol III, the Incendiary Weapons Protocol, restricts the 
use of incendiary weapons in various ways.
    In March 1995, the United States Senate gave its advice and 
consent to ratification of the Convention, including its Non-
detectable Fragments Protocol and its Mines Protocol. The 
Incendiary Weapons Protocol was not transmitted to the Senate 
at the time the Convention (and the two protocols) was 
transmitted and was instead given further study by the 
interagency community owing to certain military concerns. Those 
concerns have now been fully addressed.
    The First Review Conference for the Convention completed 
its review with the adoption of an amended Mines Protocol on 
May 3, 1996. Also at that session, the Conference adopted a new 
Protocol IV, the Blinding Laser Weapons Protocol.


                     (a) the amended mines protocol


    The amended Mines Protocol is, overall, a significant 
improvement over the 1980 Protocol and will, if widely 
observed, result in a substantial decrease in civilian 
casualties caused by the indiscriminate use of anti-personnel 
mines. The provisions of the amended Mines Protocol essentially 
reflect the practices already adopted by U.S. forces for the 
protection of the civilian population.
    At the same time, the provisions of the amended Protocol, 
although improved, do not provide a complete solution to the 
serious problem of indiscriminate use of these devices. The 
amended Protocol will, however, continue to constitute a 
critical factor in our efforts to eliminate anti-personnel 
mines altogether and, in this regard is entirely consistent 
with your May 16, 1996, announcement of our policy to pursue an 
international agreement to ban use, stockpiling, production, 
and transfer of anti-personnel landmines.
    For these reasons, the amended Protocol is desirable. It is 
consistent with U.S. military interests and humanitarian 
concerns. The earliest possible entry into force of the amended 
Protocol is therefore highly desirable. Accordingly, the United 
States should ratify it at the earliest possible date.


                  (b) the incendiary weapons protocol


    Protocol III--the Protocol on Incendiary Weapons--was a 
part of the original Convention package adopted at Geneva on 
October 10, 1980, but it was not sent to the Senate for advice 
and consent to ratification because of concerns about the 
acceptability of the Protocol from a military point of view. 
Incendiary weapons have significant potential military value, 
particularly with respect to flammable military targets that 
cannot so readily be destroyed with conventional explosives.
    At the same time, these weapons can be misused in a manner 
that could cause heavy civilian casualties. In particular, the 
Protocol prohibits the use of air-delivered incendiary weapons 
against targets located in a city, town, village or other 
concentration of civilians, a practice which caused very heavy 
civilian casualties in past conflicts.
    The Executive Branch has given very careful study to the 
Incendiaries Protocol and has developed a specific condition 
that would, in our view, make it acceptable from a broader 
national security perspective. This condition consists of a 
proposed reservation that would reserve the right to use 
incendiaries against military targets located in concentrations 
of civilians where it is judged that such use would cause fewer 
casualties and less collateral damage than alternative weapons. 
A good example of this would be the hypothetical use of 
incendiaries to destroy biological agents in an enemy storage 
facility where explosive devices might simply spread the agents 
with disastrous consequences for the civilian population.

                (C) THE BLINDING LASER WEAPONS PROTOCOL

    The provisions of the Blinding Laser Weapons Protocol, 
Protocol IV, if widely observed, will result in a substantially 
reduced risk of widespread development, proliferation and use 
of blinding laser weapons. The Protocol is intended to address 
this risk in a timely way, before such weapons become 
commonplace.
    At the same time, lasers are absolutely vital to our modern 
military and the legitimate use of lasers for other military 
purposes is acknowledged by the Protocol. Indeed, lasers 
provide significant humanitarian benefits on and off the 
battlefield. They allow weapons systems to be increasingly 
discriminate, thereby reducing collateral damage to civilian 
lives and property.
    The inevitable incidental or collateral effect of 
legitimate military use of lasers is also recognized and is 
explicitly not covered by this Protocol. The Department of 
Defense, will, nonetheless, continue to strive, through 
training and doctrine, to minimize these effects.
    The Blinding Laser Weapons Protocol is desirable therefore 
both because it reduces the potential risks of proliferation of 
blinding laser weapons and because it clarifies the legitimacy 
of other types of battlefield lasers. It is fully consistent 
with U.S. military interests, Department of Defense policy and 
humanitarian concerns generally. Accordingly, the United States 
should ratify it at an early date.

                               Conditions

    The Senate is being asked to include a number of 
conditions, described in detail in the accompanying analyses, 
in its resolution of advice and consent to ratification. The 
texts of the three understandings to the amended Mines Protocol 
and the reservation to the Incendiary Weapons Protocol follow:

                     (A) The Amended Mines Protocol

    1. The United States understands, with reference to Article 
3, Paragraph 9 of the amended Mines Protocol, that an area of 
land can itself be a legitimate military objective for the 
purpose of the use of landmines, if its neutralization or 
denial, in the circumstances ruling at the time, offers a 
definite military advantage.
    2. The United States understands that Article 5, Paragraph 
2 of the amended Mines Protocol does not preclude agreement, in 
connection with peace treaties or similar arrangements, to 
allocate responsibilities under this subparagraph in a manner 
which nevertheless respects the essential spirit and purpose of 
the Article.
    3. The United States understands that Article 7, Paragraph 
2 of the amended Mines Protocol does not prohibit the 
adaptation in advance of other objects for use as booby-traps 
or other devices.

                  (C) The Incendiary Weapons Protocol

    The United States declares, with reference to Article 2, 
Paragraphs 2 and 3 of the Incendiary Weapons Protocol, that it 
will reserve the right to use incendiary weapons against 
military targets located in concentrations of civilians where 
it is judged that such use would cause fewer casualties and 
less collateral damage than alternative weapons.

                               Conclusion

    The amended Mines Protocol, the Incendiary Weapons Protocol 
and the Blinding Laser Weapons Protocol contain restrictions 
which offer significant humanitarian benefit. Subject to the 
recommended conditions, all three are consistent with U.S. 
military requirements, and with existing U.S. military 
practices. Ratification by the United States will highlight our 
commitment on restricting or prohibiting unacceptable methods 
of warfare and, with respect to the amended Mines Protocol in 
particular, will materially advance our efforts to end the 
scourge posed by anti-personnel mines altogether. An article-
by-article analysis of each of the three protocols is enclosed.
    The Department of State, the Department of Defense and the 
Arms Control and Disarmament Agency join in recommending that 
the amended Mines Protocol, the Blinding Laser Weapons Protocol 
and the Incendiary Weapons Protocol be transmitted to the 
Senate for advice and consent to ratification, subject to the 
conditions previously described, at an early date.
    Respectfully submitted,
                                                Warren Christopher.

    Enclosures:

    Tab (A) The Article-by-Article Analysis of the Amended 
Mines Protocol.
    Tab (B) The Article-by-Article Analysis of the Incendiary 
Weapons Protocol.
    Tab (C) The Article-by-Article Analysis of the Blinding 
Laser Weapons Protocol.