Tuesday, July 8, 2008


MSNBC Faced with growing international pressure, the Pentagon is changing its policy on cluster bombs and plans to reduce the danger of unexploded munitions in the deadly explosives.

The policy shift, which is outlined in a three-page memo signed by Defense Secretary Robert Gates, would require that after 2018, more than 99 percent of the bomblets in a cluster bomb must detonate.

Limiting the amount of live munitions left on the battlefield would lessen the danger to innocent civilians who could be killed or severely injured if they accidentally detonate the bombs. . .

The new Defense Department plan comes more than a month after 111 nations, including many of America's key NATO partners, adopted a treaty outlawing all current designs of cluster munitions. The agreement also required that stockpiles be destroyed within eight years.

Opponents have complained that the Pentagon has moved too slowly to reduce the cluster munitions from its inventory.

U.S. refused to join treaty Cluster bombs scatter hundreds of smaller explosives over a large area, where those bomblets can sit for years until they are disturbed and explode.

U.S. leaders boycotted the May talks, as did Russia, China, Israel, India and Pakistan, all leading cluster bomb makers who cite the military value of the deadly explosives.


At July 8, 2008 3:45 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Pentagon cowards refuse to give up their most indiscriminate WMDs, yet whine about a few IEDs in Iraq.

At July 9, 2008 5:23 AM, Anonymous Saynottoclusterbombs said...

Just a note - these aren't classified as WMDs. Yet again the States is attempting to claw back credibility post-Dublin, after trying to derail the negotiations. The argument around failure rates is redundant since evidence has shown these figures to be unreliable. Who is going to take the weapons anyway? 111 countries have already signed up to the convention. Dumping your stockpiled weapons on other countries until 2018, smacks of hypocrisy. These are desperate actions by those who know they are on borrowed time.

At July 9, 2008 4:37 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

these aren't classified as WMDs

If Iran, or North Korea, Cuba, Venezuela, or the Iraqi resistance used them, they would certainly be branded as such.


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