Tag Archives: cluster bombs

US Refuses To Abandon Cluster Bombing

The United States refuses to join with most nations of the world in placing a ban on the use of cluster bombs in warfare. Cluster munitions are air-dropped bombs or ground-fired artillery shells and rockets than contain dozens of hundreds of smaller submunitions, or “bomblets” that carpet a large areas with explosions when released. The US Air Force argues if it didn’t use cluster bombs it would be compelled to unleash large numbers of heavy bombs in order to devastate a target. Critics argue such weapons are ineffective in the type of fighting presently confronting American forces and they tend to kill too many civilians, including large numbers of children. After the Gulf War, more than 4,000 civilians were killed or injured by cluster munition duds they picked up.

Marc Garlasco, of the Human Rights Watch, says it makes no sense to continue using a weapon that will not be an important factor either in present or future wars. More than a 100 nations have signed the cluster bomb ban, but the United States continues its policy of using weapons that inordinately kill large numbers of civilians and children.

Bush Refuses To Join Cluster Bomb Ban

Moe than 100 countries in the world led by the European Union agreed on Wednesday to ban the use of cluster mbomb ammunition, but the United States and a few other nations like Turkey refused to sign on to the agreement. Cluster munitions are canisters packed with many bomblets that spread over a large area when dropped from a plane or fired from the ground. A major problem is many do not explode on hitting the ground and when civilians, including children, pick up thes lethal weapons it can result in loss of limbs or life. The draft treaty would not compel existing cluster bomb stocks to be destroyed.

The Bush administration insists the treaty is “flawed” because although the United States shares its humanitarian goals, “cluster munitions have demonstrated military utility and their ellimination fom U.S. stockpile would put the lives of our sodliers andthose of our coaltion partners at risk” claimed a Pentagon spokesperson. The State Department insists cluster bombs are part of the arsenal of the future and why single out one weapon.

If one pursues the logic of the US State Department and Pentagon, why not use atomic weapons against terrorists? Why single out a single weapon like that? Over a hundred nations have agreed to end the use of cluster bombs, surely the United States can go along with other nations of the world on ending use of a terrible weapon.