Director's Letter

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Dear Readers,

Ken RutherfordThe mine-action community has always set standards for global humanitarian intervention by tapping into our strengths—we get directly involved in the success of communities, and we use these experiences to tailor future interventions.

Working with explosive-ordnance-disposal expert Colin King and JMU faculty, and with support from the Office of Weapons Removal and Abatement in the U.S. Department of State’s Bureau of Political-Military Affairs (PM/WRA), in 2010 CISR completed a two-year study on the effects of aging on landmines. Since its publication on the CISR website (, dozens of practitioners have commented on the Landmine Aging Study’s wide application in real-world settings. With this in mind, we ask demining practitioners to help us move forward as a community and continue this important research.

The premise is simple: Collect information on the condition of the munitions and explosives you encounter in the field. By following standard clearance procedures, organizations can provide valuable information without dismantling landmines. External conditions give a good indication of internal conditions. Even with in situ demolition, trained experts can assess and record the conditions of landmines as they render positive visual identification.

Basic information on the condition of landmines plays a critical role in understanding munitions life cycles. The Landmine Aging Study team recommended engaging with field projects to collect additional data. Involving the largest possible number of operational organizations working within normal procedures and practices will have a significant impact on this research and our community. To facilitate this process, we have created a form for practitioners to track the conditions of munitions found. You can download the form from the Aging Study website: Please send completed forms to, and we will maintain a database of the information collected in order to inform future aging research.

As we have seen with the first iteration of the Landmine Aging Study, collecting and analyzing information readily available to practitioners can improve clearance operations, prioritization and mine-risk education. Once again, we can come together as a community and set a standard for good practice and research.


Ken Rutherford


Contact Information

Center for International Stabilization
and Recovery
James Madison University
Harrisonburg, Virginia / USA