Conflict & Justice

U.S. opposes cluster bomb treaty

A large bomb is dropped from a plane and inside that bomb are hundreds of little bomblets which usually explode upon impact. The bomblets can quickly neutralize enemy forces in an area around the size of a football field. But sometimes the bomblets don't explode but they often do when unfortunate civilians stumble upon them later. This analyst says the new treaty aims to put an end to this. But the treaty has its skeptics like this analyst who says if the US, China, Israel and Russia don't plan to abide by the treaty, then it can't be effective. He says those four countries possess about 99% of the world's cluster bombs. Proponents say this treaty does put pressure on those countries, such as with the 1997 treaty against land mines which the US also didn't sign. The British Prime Minister also expressed his support for the treaty yesterday. On the ground the treaty should have little significance. This analyst says treaties that ban specific weapons are a worrying trend because in war America's enemies don't respect the treaties and weapons like land mines have strategic value. The Bush administration says the cluster bombs have a demonstrated military utility and is working to make the cluster bombs more effective in exploding when first deployed.

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