U.S. Ducks As Cluster Bomb Ban Takes Effect

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Memo to the handful of people that still like to think of America as a ‘Christian country‘:

Every war must end, instructed the U.S. strategist Fred Ikle. But leftover unexploded ordnance can be a war’s legacy, particularly when small and unstable munitions lay around areas where civilians rebuild their lives after the fighting stops. That’s why a new international ban on cluster munitions will take effect on Saturday. The U.S., however, isn’t part of the accord.

More than 30 countries have ratified the Convention on Cluster Munitions — the threshold for it entering into force — and over 100 have signed it since 2008. Holdouts include Russia, Israel and the United States. All three of those countries have used cluster bombs in the past decade.

According to the Pentagon’s 2008 policy, cluster munitions are actually humane weapons. Cluster opponents don’t buy it. “The vast majority of U.S. allies have banned this weapon,” Thomas Nash, the coordinator of the Cluster Munition Coalition, said in a statement e-mailed to Danger Room. “In line with his rhetoric on multilateralism, Obama needs to bring the U.S. in line with other nations that respect international law and the protection of civilians in armed conflict.”

We’re not holding our breath.

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This post was last updated: Jul. 30, 2010