Despite the growing attention that humanitarian demining receives now worldwide, in 1994, when Col. Lawrence Machabee began his three-year stint as a Department of Defense (DoD)/Department of State Exchange Officer within the Department of State, humanitarian demining was "on no one's radar screen, at least politically" in the U.S. In FY 93, the U.S. government started demining programs in six countries and had allocated a total of $9 million to its demining efforts around the world. All this changed in January 1994 with the Department of State publication Hidden Killers. Col. Machabee was a central figure in the development of that document, which was, in effect, a follow-on report to one solicited from the Department of State by the U.S. Congress the year before. Hidden Killers served as "an authoritative document that people could reference in terms of demining problems" worldwide and sparked national and international interest in scope of the demining problem. In 1997 the U.S. government is involved in demining programs in 15 countries and is allocating more than $44 million to those projects.



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