U.S. Rejects Treaty Banning Cluster Bombs

June 15, 2008

The U.S. has rejected an international treaty, adopted at a conference in Dublin , Ireland on May 30, which bans the production and use of most cluster bombs.  The U.S. boycotted the talks.  The treaty is to be signed in December and put into effect in mid-2009. 

Cluster bombs are "anti-personnel" weapons used to target civilian populations. They consist of canisters that break apart to release a large number of small "bomblets" over a wide area. Many bomblets lie unexploded on the ground until something disturbs them at a later time. The unexploded munitions go off very easily and many are brightly colored, creating the impression that they are toys. U.S. forces dropped massive quantities in Vietnam, in the former Yugoslavia, in Kuwait, Iraq and Afghanistan. During its 2006 invasion of Lebanon, Israel saturated southern Lebanon with cluster bombs provided by the U.S. government. Unknown numbers of unexploded "bomblets" remain in these and other areas.

By rejecting the treaty, U.S. imperialism is once again flaunting its true militaristic and hegemonist character. Pentagon officials declare that such weapons "have demonstrated military utility" and are essential for supporting U.S. troops stationed abroad.

Clearly, U.S. imperialism is intent on continuing to produce and utilize cluster bombs as part of its program of imposing "might makes right" on the peoples of the world.