Monday, January 29, 2007

Peace In The World

Stop The Manufacture of Cluster Bombs

August 2003 - The Guardian has been told that the decision to hide the trade in such lethal anti-personnel devices is being enforced despite the fact that British and US forces used them extensively in the invasion of Iraq. Guardian Unlimited

A few of the U.S. manufacturers of cluster weapons and their products are described below.

SADARM 155mm DPICM (sense and destroy armor): a 155 mm artillery projectile can deliver two submunitions, while one of the MLRS rocketscan deliver six. The munition can also be fired from aircraft.

(Joint Standoff Weapon): a precision-guided weapon developed by the US and its allies carrying submunitions or bomblets. The guidance system allows the pilot to launch the weapon from a safe distance.

Sensor Fuzed Weapon (CBU 97/B): an air-launched anti-armor weapon system. Each dispenser contains 10 BLU-108/B submunitions. Each submunitioncarries 4 SKEET anti-armor warheads.

Wide Area Munitions (WAM) can be placed by hand, by ground vehicles, rocket, or aircraft. "WAM, designated XM93, is a derivative of the Skeetsubmunition that is used in the BLU-108/B submunition... it can be dispensed quickly above ground over a wide area.

"Companies are making and trying to market new cluster weapons all the time. In vivid military jargon, Textron's promotional flier describes the CLAW-Clean Lightweight Area Weapon, which they describe as "the nextgeneration smart soft target munition." For those not familiar with the jargon, a soft target is a person.

Textron boasts that a "single 64 poundmunition has the footprint and effectiveness of a 1,000lb legacy clusterbomb." According to Human Rights Watch, other manufacturers of cluster weapons and components include: General Dynamics, L-3 Communications, Lockheed Martinand Northrop Grumman.

Clusterbombs In Lebanon
Israel 'broke US arms deal terms'
US urged to end sale of cluster bombs to Israel

Oslo Conference calls for international ban on cluster bombs,
Cluster bomblets are some of the deadliest of modern weapons, taking a huge toll on civilians. Typically they are packed by the hundreds into artillery shells, bombs or missiles, which scatter them over large areas. Some fail to explode immediately and can lie dormant for years after conflicts end until disturbed.

Up to 60% of the victims in southeast Asia are children. The weapons have recently been used in Iraq, Kosovo, Afghanistan and Lebanon. The UN estimates that Israel dropped 4m in south Lebanon during last summer's war with Hizbullah, with as many 40% failing to explode on impact.

The declaration urged nations to "conclude by 2008 a legally binding international instrument" to ban cluster bombs. The treaty would "prohibit the use, production, transfer and stockpiling of those cluster munitions that cause unacceptable harm to civilians", it said. Guardian Unlimited