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Diplomacy in Action

2012 To Walk the Earth in Safety: U.S. Government Interagency Partners and Implementation Tools and Fora


Report
Bureau of Political-Military Affairs
July 1, 2012

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U.S. Department of State’s Office of Weapons Removal and Abatement

The Office of Weapons Removal and Abatement in the U.S. Department of State’s Bureau of Political-Military Affairs (PM/WRA) creates local, regional and international conditions conducive to peace, stability and prosperity by cleaning up the explosive remnants of war and curbing the proliferation of conventional weapons that fuel conflict or support terrorism and international crime.

PM/WRA develops, implements, and monitors policy and conducts programs to mitigate the threats to civilians posed by conventional weapons in order to promote stability and economic recovery. The focus of our efforts is three-fold: to curb the illicit trafficking, availability, and indiscriminate use of conventional weapons of war; to pursue and help manage post-conflict cleanup of such weapons; and to engage civil society to broaden support for our efforts and enhance U.S. influence.

Conventional weapons and munitions addressed by PM/WRA include landmines, unexploded ordnance (UXO), abandoned ordnance, stockpiled conventional munitions, man-portable air defense systems, and other small arms and light weapons. The office strives to limit the access of terrorist or criminal groups to such weapons and munitions. At the same time, by addressing acute humanitarian needs, PM/WRA demonstrates the United States’ commitment to a set of values that respect human life. PM/WRA works closely with other U.S. Government agencies as well as nongovernmental organizations (NGO), international organizations, and private enterprises.

More than half of PM/WRA’s humanitarian assistance is provided through grants to NGOs. For example, PM/WRA’s support recently funded conventional weapons destruction in Iraq, UXO clearance in Libya, and handicap access for landmine survivors in Afghanistan.

Point of Contact:
Office of Weapons Removal and Abatement (PM/WRA)
U.S. Department of State
Bureau of Political-Military Affairs
SA-3, Suite 6100
2121 Virginia Avenue, NW
Washington, D.C. 20522
USA
telephone: +1 202 663 0100
fax: +1 202 663 0090
website: http://state.gov/t/pm/wra


U.S. Department of Defense's Humanitarian Demining Research and Development Program

The Humanitarian Demining Research and Development (HD R&D) Program focuses on developing technologies to improve the efficiency and safety of removing post-conflict landmines and unexploded ordnance (UXO). It designs, builds, demonstrates, and evaluates prototype mine- and UXO-clearing technologies for indigenous, host-nation-conducted demining operations supported by the United States Department of Defense. HD R&D adapts commercial off-the-shelf equipment and leverages current developments from the U.S. Army’s counter-mine mission area. The program aims to improve existing technologies for mine/UXO detection, technical survey/area reduction, mechanical mine/UXO and vegetation clearance, mine neutralization, individual deminer protection, marking and mapping of mines/minefields, and post-clearance quality assurance.

New technology requirements are identified and validated at a biennial requirements workshop held by the Office of the Assistant Secretary of Defense for Special Operations, Low Intensity Conflict. All prototypes undergo extensive testing in the U.S. before they are deployed to support operational field evaluations (OFE), an integral aspect of the HD R&D Program. During OFEs, equipment capabilities are assessed by host-nation demining partners (foreign military, nongovernmental organizations, and mine-action centers) in actual demining conditions. The evaluations allow host countries to operate and test equipment in active minefields and provide feedback to initiate future R&D improvements.

Since 1995 the program has fielded technologies in support of 140 OFEs in 36 countries. In FY2011, HD R&D performed OFEs in Afghanistan, Angola, Cambodia, Chile, Ecuador, Iraq, Mozambique, Sri Lanka, Tajikistan, Thailand, and Vietnam. Some of the more than 40 technologies being evaluated include the Orbit Screen, Rotary Mine Comb, Badger, Multi-Tooled Excavator, Handheld Standoff Mine Detection System (HSTAMIDS), and the Mini MineWolf.

Point of Contact:
Sean Burke, Program Manager
US Army RDECOM CERDEC NVESD
ATTN: RDER-NVC-HD
10221 Burbeck Road
Fort Belvoir, Virginia 22060
USA
telephone: +1 703 704 1047
fax: +1 703 704 3001
email: sean.p.burke@us.army.mil
website: http://humanitarian-demining.org


The Information Management System for Mine Action

The Geneva International Centre for Humanitarian Demining (GICHD) launched the Information Management System for Mine Action (IMSMA) in response to requests from the mine action community for a software tool that could help organizations facilitate mine-action programs with greater degrees of safety, speed, efficiency, and effectiveness. Provided free of charge, IMSMA is a highly customizable system that offers computerized decision support and resource-planning tools for mine-action organizations. IMSMA helps mine-action managers document and analyze survey and field data information, and the results help them make decisions to support the best operational practices.

Created for national governments, nongovernmental organizations, international organizations and various peacekeeping forces, IMSMA is currently used by more than 80 percent of mine-action programs around the world and can be found in more than 1,200 installations in 57 countries. Initially developed and released in Kosovo in 1999 by Zurich’s Institute of Technology, IMSMA records contaminated areas and allows organizations to keep track of remaining threats, as well as to follow trends in casualties, survey and clearance rates, and other key factors. IMSMA users can produce detailed maps and a wide variety of statistics and planning tools from the data they enter. Based on user feedback, GICHD worked with FGM, Inc., a software developer, to create the Next Generation of IMSMA in 2006. Core funding for IMSMA’s development and deployment is provided by the Swiss government. Other financial supporters of IMSMA include Australia, Sweden and the U.S.

Referred to as IMSMANG, this new version of the software provides a high level of flexibility and is based on the information-management cycle, an interactive process that includes user feedback and subsequent updates throughout the implementation of the system. Intuitive in design, some of the core concepts for IMSMANG include report design, which allows users to customize their own reports; data quality validation, which ensures only high-quality data is stored; and data classification, which aids in organization.

IMSMA is frequently updated and revised. Periodic releases give developers opportunities to respond to feedback and provide patch software; the current release of IMSMANG is 5.05.04. GICHD provides IMSMA free of charge to national authorities on mine action or any organizations that serve this role, and other organizations involved in mine-action activities may contact GICHD directly to obtain the software.

Contact Information:
Geneva International Centre for Humanitarian Demining info@gichd.org.
http://www.imsma.org or http://gichd.org


U.S. Department of Defense's Defense Threat Reduction Agency

First established in October 1998, the Defense Threat Reduction Agency (DTRA) is a combat-support agency for the United States Department of Defense. DTRA aims to reduce the global threat of weapons of mass destruction (WMD), including chemical, biological, radiological, nuclear, and high-yield explosives. Each of DTRA’s several offices and enterprises has its own specific objectives and responsibilities, working together to mitigate the effects of WMDs by providing capabilities to reduce, eliminate, and counter the threat.

In addition to its focus on WMDs, DTRA works to improve physical security and stockpile management (PSSM) of small arms and light weapons (SA/LW) throughout the world. DTRA’s SA/LW Program aims to reduce proliferation by aiding foreign governments with security improvements and the management of state-controlled stockpiles of man-portable air-defense systems (MANPADS), SA/LW, and conventional ammunition. Since the SA/LW Program began in 2001, it has provided assistance to 67 countries.

The SA/LW Program accomplishes its objectives by employing teams of SA/LW experts to provide foreign governments with assessments and technical advice to orient them with PSSM best practices. As a result, DTRA’s efforts have decreased the availability of weapons to terrorists and insurgents, reduced cross-border weapons transfers that threaten regional stability, and lowered the risk of ammunition accidents.

Point of Contact:
Defense Threat Reduction Agency
DTRA Public Affairs
8725 John J. Kingman Road Stop 6201
Fort Belvoir, Virginia 22060-6201
USA
telephone: +1 800 701 5096
email: salw@dtra.mil
website: http://dtra.mil


The International Mine Action Standards

To ensure that mine-action programs are planned, implemented, and managed safely and efficiently, a set of operations guidelines called the International Mine Action Standards (IMAS) were issued under the supervision of the United Nations Mine Action Service (UNMAS). Designed to support the development of mine-action standards within a country, the guidelines recognize the varying realities in communities throughout the world and are designed be used more as a reference than a stringent set of rules when needed.

To simplify IMAS, the standards are divided into 14 categories, or series, ranging from equipment procurement to stockpile destruction. For each series, multiple standards provide in-depth information on how best to approach particular aspects of mine action.

The first six series provide general guidelines. Series 1–3 indicate how to apply IMAS to operations, establish mine-action programs, procure and evaluate equipment, and research related technology. The fourth series includes a glossary of terms and definitions while the fifth and sixth deal with information systems and training.

The remaining eight series provide detailed information on specific mine-action tasks. Series 7 focuses on how to facilitate work between different types of organizations. In addition to explaining types of land surveillance, the eighth series also describes how to release suspected-hazardous areas. Series 9 includes standards and procedures for different types of demining, such as battle-area clearance, the use of mine-detection dogs, and mechanical demining. Describing basic safety concerns, the 10th series includes risk reduction and gives guidelines for safe working environments. Series 11 provides procedures for stockpile destruction. Standards on planning, implementing, monitoring, and evaluating mine-risk education projects are covered in the 12th series. Series 13, on victim assistance, has not yet been incorporated as of the most recent revision in October 2011. The 14th and final series provides guidelines for assessing program values.

Originally endorsed by the U.N. Agency Coordination Group on Mine Action on 26 September 2001, IMAS has evolved from its introduction in March 1997. As new standards are approved and as changes are made to existing standards, the IMAS are amended by technical committees coordinated by the Geneva International Centre for Humanitarian Demining (GICHD). UNMAS is responsible for developing and maintaining IMAS, and the latest, up-to-date series are available online at http://bit.ly/JL89Dd. Additionally, online support is offered by GICHD (http://bit.ly/gichdimas) and UNMAS (http://mineaction.org).


The Regional Approach to Stockpile Reduction

Instability and humanitarian disasters resulting from the illicit proliferation of weapons and accidental explosions of stockpiles filled with aged, deteriorating munitions, respectively, can destabilize individual countries or entire regions. The Regional Approach to Stockpile Reduction (RASR) initiative is a coordinated and comprehensive effort to eliminate threats posed by decrepit, excess, dangerously stored or poorly secured, unstable, or otherwise hazardous stockpiles of conventional weapons and munitions in Southeast Europe. RASR engages the expertise of the U.S. Defense Threat Reduction Agency (DTRA), the Slovenia-based ITF Enhancing Human Security (formerly the International Trust Fund for Demining and Mine Victims Assistance), NATO Support Agency (NSPA, formerly NATO Maintenance and Supply, or NAMSA), Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe, RACVIAC Center for Security Cooperation, South Eastern and Eastern Europe Clearinghouse for the Control of Small Arms and Light Weapons, Small Arms Survey, Swiss Implementation and Verification Unit of the Swiss Army, and the Office of Weapons Removal and Abatement in the U.S. Department of State’s Bureau of Political-Military Affairs (PM/WRA).

RASR held its inaugural workshop in Zagreb, Croatia in May 2009. Southeast Europe government officials who have authority for the management of their countries’ stockpiles were invited along with officials from relevant donor government agencies and various experts on arms and munitions issues. As a result of this workshop, RASR identified the following five priority issues related to stockpile reduction:

  1. National and regional policy
  2. Infrastructure
  3. Training, education, and capacity building
  4. Sharing of best practices and other information
  5. Standardization of munitions classifications, surveillance systems, and points of contact

The inaugural workshop was followed by four more workshops between 2009 and 2012. The fourth and fifth RASR Workshops were held in Ljubljana, Slovenia and Durres, Albania, and featured visits to military munitions testing and demilitarization facilities. Representatives from the United States and European states have participated in one or more of these RASR workshops, which provide opportunities to network and build professional relationships, share practices and lessons learned, encourage regional stockpile reduction efforts that leverage economies of scale, obtain information on technical and financial assistance, and contribute to regional stability.

Point of Contact:
Regional Approach to Stockpile Reduction
email: info@rasrinitiative.org
website: http://rasrinitiative.org


U.S. Agency for International Development's Leahy War Victims Fund

The Patrick J. Leahy War Victims Fund (LWVF), managed by the United States Agency for International Development (USAID), has been the foundation of United States’ efforts to respond to the needs of civilian victims of conflict in war-affected developing countries since its creation in 1989. The LWVF provides a dedicated source of financial and technical assistance for people living with disabilities, particularly those who have sustained mobility-related injuries from explosive remnants of war (ERW), anti-personnel landmines, and other direct and indirect causes of disability, including preventable diseases that might result from interrupted immunization campaigns. To date, the LWVF has provided more than $194 million in assistance to more than 40 countries.

Over time, the scope of the LWVF has expanded from its original focus on delivering immediate care to include myriad development programs that accommodate the changing needs of the populations they serve, as well as establishing the foundations for sustainable services in developing countries. It contributes to the design and enforcement of international standards to ensure that practitioners who provide care to survivors are competent. In addition, the LWVF ensures that treatment and equipment are used effectively to increase the mobility of people with disabilities around the world.

In FY2011, the LWVF contributed to programs in Cambodia, Colombia, the Democratic Republic of the Congo, Ethiopia, Haiti, Kenya, Laos, Lebanon, Nepal, Pakistan, Sri Lanka, and Vietnam, as well as numerous regional and international initiatives spanning multiple countries.

Moreover, through two other programs specifically focused on helping wheelchair users (some disabled as a result of ERW), as well as a broader cohort of people with disabilities, USAID provided an additional $10 million in FY2011 in more than 30 countries, including Georgia, Iraq, Jordan, Kosovo, Montenegro, Nicaragua, Sierra Leone, and Zimbabwe.

Point of Contact:
Rob Horvath, Manager
Leahy War Victims Fund
U.S. Agency for International Development
Washington, D.C. 20523
USA
telephone: +1 202 712 5239
email: rhorvath@usaid.gov
website: http://transition.usaid.gov/our_work/humanitarian_assistance/the_funds/lwvf/


U.S. Department of Defense’s Humanitarian Demining Training Center

The United States Department of Defense’s (DOD) Humanitarian Demining Training Center (HDTC) is located at Fort Leonard Wood, Missouri, and is the training and information center for the DOD U.S. Humanitarian Mine Action (HMA) program. Established in 1996, HDTC trains and prepares U.S. forces for overseas deployment in support of DoD HMA strategy to provide training and education in explosive remnants of war (ERW) disposal. Training is provided to partner nations accepted into the U.S. Government (USG) HMA program.

Training at HDTC develops the ability of U.S. forces to provide ERW disposal instruction in a train-the-trainer format, with emphasis on the operational procedures and practices of the partner nation’s HMA program. Training is conducted in accordance with USG law, policy, and the International Mine Action Standards. Upon completion of the two week HMA Basic Course, students are required to demonstrate proficiency in subjects ranging from basic deminer tasks in ERW disposal to HMA program management.

U.S. forces attending HDTC use Overseas Humanitarian Disaster and Civic Aid (OHDACA) funding to attend HMA courses, conduct partner-nation training and pre-deployment surveys, and HMA training operations. HDTC is funded via OHDACA appropriation.

Since its inception, HDTC graduates have performed train-the-trainer missions in 40 nations supporting the U.S. Africa Command, U.S. Central Command, U.S European Command, U.S Pacific Command, and U.S. Southern Command HMA programs.

Point of Contact:
Jonathan D. Green, Director
U.S. Department of Defense
Humanitarian Demining Training Center
Fort Leonard Wood, Missouri 65473
USA
telephone: +1 573 563 6199
email: leon.dscapgmhd@conus.army.mil
website: www.wood.army.mil/hdtc


U.S. Quick Reaction Force

Since 2008, Dyncorp International, a global government-service provider based in Falls Church, Virginia, has been supporting the Office of Weapons Removal and Abatement in the U.S. Department of State’s Bureau of Political-Military Affairs (PM/WRA) with a Quick Reaction Force (QRF). The State Department’s QRF is a deployable team of conventional weapons destruction experts that works in concert with U.S. Embassies and host nations to respond to critical risks posed by explosive remnants of war, including cluster munitions, landmines, and other types of explosive hazards. The QRF complements international humanitarian operations and post-conflict stability initiatives in the host nation, allowing them to proceed unhindered by the presence of explosive hazards.

QRF teams have been deployed to Bulgaria, Cyprus, Libya, Papua New Guinea, the Philippines, Solomon Islands, Sri Lanka, St. Kitts, Tanzania, Tarawa, Uruguay, and Vietnam. After a QRF Assessment Team enters these areas to assess the situation, it develops tentative disposal plans and identifies and coordinates logistics for the QRF Operational Element, which conducts necessary disposal operations. In addition to these operations, QRF mentors and trains local forces on disposal operations and training to safely and effectively handle, store, and dispose of hazards including small arms and light weapons, and man-portable air-defense systems on their own.

Point of Contact:
Dennis Hadrick, QRF Program Manager
Office of Weapons Removal and Abatement (PM/WRA)
U.S. Department of State
Bureau of Political-Military Affairs
SA-3, Suite 6100
2121 Virginia Avenue, NW
Washington, D.C. 20522
USA
telephone: +1 202 663 0100
fax: +1 202 663 0090
website: http://state.gov/t/pm/wra


The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention: International Emergency and Refugee Health Branch

The International Emergency and Refugee Health Branch (IERHB) of the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention provides public-health assistance and interventions in the context of humanitarian emergencies such as civil strife, disaster, displacement, drought, famine, genocide, and war.

The IERHB’s public-health mission involves investigating, planning, training, and developing public-health guidelines, and advancing partnerships. To date, the IERHB has formed key partnerships with the Office of U.S. Foreign Disaster Assistance, the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees, UNICEF, the World Health Organization, and numerous nongovernmental organizations.

Since 2004, the IERHB has worked in 40 countries, improving the lives and livelihood of individuals and communities in Afghanistan, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Colombia, Eritrea, Ethiopia, Iraq, Liberia, Mozambique, Nepal, and Sri Lanka, among others. Most recently, the IERHB has focused attention on the Horn of Africa, where it is providing technical guidance, U.N. cluster-system support, and disease surveillance to assist the millions of people displaced by famine; and on Haiti, where it is implementing water and sanitation programs in areas heavily affected by 2010’s devastating earthquake.

The CDC provides technical assistance to mine action and other partners. For instance, IERHB conducted evaluations of landmine/explosive remnants of war programs in Nepal and Sri Lanka during FY2011. The IERHB also provided support to UNICEF’s landmine team for training and data collection.

Point of Contact:
Michael Gerber
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention
4770 Buford Highway
Atlanta, Georgia 30341
USA
telephone: +1 770 488 0695
email: mcg9@cdc.gov
website: http://cdc.gov


The MANPADS Task Force

Date: 2012 Description: Securing MANPADS in Libya.  © Photo courtesy of Quick Reaction Force representative
Securing MANPADS in Libya. Photo courtesy of Quick Reaction Force representative.

Rwanda’s genocide began when two man-portable air-defense system (MANPADS) missiles hit the plane carrying the presidents of Burundi and Rwanda, causing it to crash and killing everyone on board. Elsewhere, MANPADS have been used against U.S. forces by insurgents in Afghanistan and Iraq, destroyed humanitarian flights in Angola and Sudan, and hit numerous civilian aircraft across Africa. A successful attack against a commercial airliner could ground civil aviation, analogous to the grounding of the U.S. civilian air fleet for days following 9/11, and would cost the world economy billions of dollars.

To address the challenge of illicit MANPADS proliferation, a comprehensive U.S. National Strategy for Aviation Security was written under National Security Presidential Directive 47 in 2006. The strategy organizes U.S. Government efforts toward aviation threats. The International Aviation Threat Reduction Plan, one of seven supporting plans to the Strategy, focuses on international aspects of the MANPADS threat. The U.S. Interagency MANPADS Task Force, chaired by the U.S. Department of State, was created to coordinate U.S. Government action on MANPADS threat reduction.

WHAT THE TASK FORCE DOES

The MANPADS Task Force addresses MANPADS proliferation in every region of the world in a variety of ways. Excess MANPADS production is discouraged, while strict export controls and end-use monitoring are promoted. The Task Force aids foreign governments with the implementation of MANPADS stockpile-security measures to prevent against loss to terrorists, criminals, insurgents, and other non-state actors. Additional efforts include border-security assistance to ensure that MANPADS already for sale or transfer on the black market cannot be trafficked from one country to another.

The Department of State leads Task Force engagement with foreign government officials, partnering in bilateral and multilateral efforts to reduce the worldwide threat from MANPADS. Meanwhile, the Department of Defense supports international negotiations by providing expertise on the proper management and control of MANPADS in foreign government holdings, and by enforcing stringent physical security and accountability for MANPADS in U.S. possession. The U.S. Department of Homeland Security supports international efforts through an International MANPADS Assist Visit program within the Transportation Security Administration. Several other agencies also support MANPADS Task Force activities and initiatives.

The tragic loss of human life combined with the far-reaching implications for international security and stability associated with a successful MANPADS attack against a civilian airliner continue to ensure that MANPADS threat reduction is a U.S. national security priority.

WHAT ARE MANPADS?

Man-portable air-defense systems (MANPADS) are surface-to-air missiles that can be carried and fired by a single individual or carried by several individuals and fired by a crew. Originally developed in the 1960’s, MANPADS were designed to be used by national military forces to protect their troops and facilities. With their relatively short range, MANPADS are regarded as the last missile-based air defense available to protect against aerial attack.

Most MANPADS consist of: 1) a missile packaged in a tube; 2) a reusable trigger mechanism (commonly known as a “gripstock”); and 3) a battery. The tubes, which protect the missile until it has been fired, are disposable. Many systems have rudimentary sights mounted on the tube. A single-use battery is typically used to power the missile prior to launch.

The most widely proliferated MANPADS are infrared (IR)-guided systems that automatically hone in on an aircraft’s heat source, usually the engine or the engine’s exhaust plume. Other types of MANPADS require the operator to remotely steer the missile to the target aircraft; these involve more operator input and require more training. Most of the older systems are ineffective against modern military aircraft, though civilian aircraft remain vulnerable due to the lack of countermeasures.

MANPADS launch tubes typically range from about 4 feet to 6.5 feet (1.2 to 2 meters) in length and are about 3 inches (72 millimeters) in diameter. Their weight, with launcher, varies from about 28 pounds to just over 55 pounds (13 to 25 kilograms). Consequently, they are easy to transport and conceal. Some of the most commonly proliferated MANPADS can easily fit into the trunk of an automobile.

Although similar in appearance externally, MANPADS should not be confused with rocket-propelled grenades (RPGs). MANPADS missiles can attain a velocity about twice the speed of sound and strike aircraft flying at altitudes up to approximately 15,000 feet (4.57 kilometers) at a range of up to 3.2 miles (5 kilometers). RPGs are also portable and shoulder-fired. However, RPGs are unguided weapons designed primarily to be used against ground targets and are generally much less effective against aircraft, except at very close range. Some RPG attacks on aircraft flying at low altitudes and relatively slow speeds have been mistaken for MANPADS attacks.



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