Letter from the Editor

by Nicole Neitzey [Mine Action Information Center]

HeadshotDear Reader,

As we're sure is the case with everyone reading the JMA, we at the MAIC were disappointed and troubled by the recent conflict between Israel and Hezbollah in Lebanon. The extent of the damage and danger left behind is still being determined, but we can be assured that there will be much work to be done to make this area of the world safe and livable again.

In light of recent events, we thought it appropriate to focus the attention of the Journal on the events in Lebanon and Israel and the issue of explosive remnants of war in general. Mine-action practitioners on the ground have realized that their work goes far beyond finding and disposing of landmines, as other explosives are difficult to separate from the equation. Thus, we wanted to give the opportunity to those in the community to discuss how the overarching issue of ERW affects their work.

As the voice of the mine-action community, the JMA strives to capture the realities of situations dealt with by the community. Thus, realizing the fact that mines and ERW are often difficult to distinguish in an operational context, we think of mines as one element of ERW. We recognize that mines and ERW are regulated by different legal documents, however, which causes some in the community to define ERW as separate from mines. When authors have written articles using this more legalistic definition of ERW, we have not changed the wording so that their articles accurately reflect their perspective.

Regardless of how you define it, ERW is more and more becoming recognized as an issue that mine-action programs must deal with on many levels. We hope we have captured that reality in this issue and will welcome further submissions on the broader subject of ERW.

Our thoughts are with all the victims of the recent conflict and we hope those working in the region can minimize the continued effects on the civilian population.

Nicole Neitzey
Managing Editor