Phil Carter has a good post today about land mines and how the US military uses them, in light of the news that the Bush administration is reversing the Clinton plan to eliminate all use of anti-personnel mines by 2006. The Bush administration is going to continue to allow the use of smart mines (they turn off after a few hours or days), and is going to stop using all “dumb” mines, including anti-vehicle mines which were still allowed under the Clinton plan. Carter explains why smart mines are an important tool for the military, and makes the point that (currently, anyway), the US isn’t really the source of land mine trouble anyway. He may be right about all that, but I don’t think that the power of the United States to set an example for other countries can be overstated. When we pull out of these international agreements, it makes it much easier for other countries to ignore them as well.