US Bans Export of Nearly All Cluster Munitions!

Obama will today sign legislation banning the export of any cluster munitions with more than a 1% failure rate (i.e. that leave behind dangerously explosive ‘dud’ bomblets more than 1% of the time). This covers nearly all current US cluster munitions stocks and production. Export to countries that cannot assure that such weapons will not be used in civilian areas will also be prohibited. Click here to read more.

“This permanent export ban is a major turnaround in US policy,” said Steve Goose, arms division director at Human Rights Watch. “It brings Washington into closer alignment with international opinion on this terrible weapon.”

Indeed, this is a crucial first step. However the US has still not joined the Cluster Munitions Convention that banned the export, transfer, stockpiling and use of all cluster munitions. Over 100 countries have signed the treaty, including most NATO members.

According to Human Rights Watch the US has exported ‘hundreds of thousands’ of cluster munitions to over 25 countries. US cluster munitions have been used in Lebanon, Iraq, Kosovo and Western Sahara.

Click here to read my article in the Guardian calling on Obama to join the cluster bomb ban.

Click here to learn how US residents can take action.

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~ by Matthew Bolton on 12 March 2009.

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