Deal reached to ban cluster bombs
May 29, 2008 at 1:51 PM
The Cluster Munition Coalition organized a conference today in Dublin, Ireland with representatives for over 100 countries to ban the use, and manufacture, of cluster bombs. The United States, Russia, Israel, and China are the world's largest producers of cluster bombs yet all four decided not to send representatives to this conference.
"During the 34-day war in Lebanon in 2006, the United Nations estimated that Israel dropped 4 million bomblets, 1 million of which may not have exploded, according to the International Committee of the Red Cross.
More than 250 civilians and bomb-disposal operators have been killed or injured by them in southern Lebanon since the war ended.
Cluster bombs were also used in the 1999 war in Kosovo. Lt. Col. Jim Burke, a military adviser to the Irish Defense Forces said they quickly became a major killer of civilians.
In more than 20 countries, according to the ICRC, cluster bombs have created lasting "no-go" areas, rendering them as dangerous as minefields."
The United States is expected to not participate in any international ban on cluster bombs. Assistant Secretary for Political-Military Affairs, Stephen D. Mull, stated that, "We think that it is going to be impossible to ban cluster munitions... because these are weapons that have a certain military utility and are of use," Mull said. "The United States relies on them as an important part of our own defense strategy."
Deal reached to ban cluster bombs -- CNN.com