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Bosonic Donating Member (774 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Nov-25-11 05:16 PM
Original message
U.S. defeated in bid on cluster bomb accord
Source: Reuters

(Reuters) - A U.S.-led push to regulate, rather than ban, cluster munitions failed Friday after 50 countries objected, following humanitarian campaigners' claims that anything less than a outright ban would be an unprecedented reversal of human rights law.

While the United States, China and Russia want rules about the manufacture and use of cluster bombs, activists say such regulations would legitimize the munitions, backtracking from the Oslo Convention, an international treaty that seeks a worldwide ban.

"Against all odds it looks like we're going to have success this evening," Steve Goose, head of the arms division at Human Rights Watch, told a press conference in Geneva.

"How often do you see the U.S., Russia, China, India, Israel and Belarus push for something, and they don't get it? That has happened largely because of one powerful alliance driving the Oslo partnership."

Read more: http://www.reuters.com/article/2011/11/25/us-weapons-cl...
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ixion Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Nov-25-11 05:23 PM
Response to Original message
1. The 5 thugs on the block need to be told 'no' more often...
"China and Russia, which like the United States are major producers of cluster munitions, were strongly supportive of the U.S. measure."

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teddy51 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Nov-25-11 05:31 PM
Response to Original message
2. One word "Good". n/t
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bloomington-lib Donating Member (513 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Nov-25-11 05:37 PM
Response to Original message
3. They'll still be around though
and used at some point. It wouldn't surprise me to eventually see a big fuck you from the US to the rest of the civilized world opening everyone else to do the same.
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dipsydoodle Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Nov-25-11 05:45 PM
Response to Original message
4. Good
.
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pettypace Donating Member (695 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Nov-25-11 05:47 PM
Response to Original message
5. Don't believe this story
Our hope and change president Obama would never favor cluster-type weaponry. He's a humane and compassionate individual, unlike anyone who's resided in the White House heretofore.

More subterfuge by Obama foes, period point blank.
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dipsydoodle Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Nov-25-11 06:01 PM
Response to Reply #5
6. You forgot the sarcasm smilie
.
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Citizen Worker Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Nov-25-11 06:03 PM
Response to Reply #5
7. You forgot to note that Obama is also a Nobel Peace Prize recipient. That in itself should be proof
enough of his commitment to peace.
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arcane1 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Nov-25-11 06:14 PM
Response to Original message
8. Sweet!!
:bounce:
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L. Coyote Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Nov-25-11 06:25 PM
Response to Original message
9. How about outlawing warfare and maintaining armed personnel outside a country's own borders?
Edited on Fri Nov-25-11 06:26 PM by L. Coyote
It would be nice if we considered the meaning of being civilized?
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marasinghe Donating Member (754 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Nov-26-11 01:38 AM
Response to Reply #9
14. such a pleasure to see the true definition of 'civilized'. cheers. n/t
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Possumpoint Donating Member (937 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Nov-25-11 07:34 PM
Response to Original message
10. Just What Will The Rest Of The World Do
When China, Russia and the United States tells them "No Thanks, we'll keep our toys"?
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JJW Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Nov-25-11 07:56 PM
Response to Original message
11. Now what?
US only exports war, weapons, and genetically mutated seeds. Oh and also financial fraud.
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swilton Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Nov-25-11 08:05 PM
Response to Original message
12. Fabulous!
Thank you for posting this!
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marasinghe Donating Member (754 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Nov-26-11 01:32 AM
Response to Original message
13. excellent. these 5 fucking mass-murdering govts. should have these no votes shoved up their asses -
at every opportunity. and hopefully in tangible ways, instead of symbolic.

they should be stripped of their pompous & hypocritical pseudo-legitimacy at every chance & shown up for the psychopaths they really are, to the entire World.
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Judi Lynn Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Nov-27-11 08:50 AM
Response to Original message
15. US move on cluster bombs is defeated
Source: Reuters

Latest Update: Sunday27/11/2011 November, 2011, 12:19 AM Doha Time
US move on cluster bombs is defeated
Reuters/Geneva

A US-led push to regulate, rather than ban, cluster munitions failed on Friday after 50 countries objected, following humanitarian campaigners claims that anything less than a outright ban would be an unprecedented reversal of human rights law.

While the US, China and Russia want rules about the manufacture and use of cluster bombs, activists say such regulations would legitimise the munitions, backtracking from the Oslo Convention, an international treaty that seeks a worldwide ban.

Against all odds it looks like were going to have success this evening, Steve Goose, head of the arms division at Human Rights Watch, told a press conference in Geneva.

How often do you see the US, Russia, China, India, Israel and Belarus push for something, and they dont get it? That has happened largely because of one powerful alliance driving the Oslo partnership.
Cluster bombs, dropped by air or fired by artillery, scatter hundreds of bomblets across a wide area and can kill and maim civilians long after conflicts end.




Read more: http://www.gulf-times.com/site/topics/article.asp?cu_no...
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DeSwiss Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Nov-27-11 08:50 AM
Response to Reply #15
16. Bravo! - K&R



- Now, if we could only get rid of the idiots who order their use.......
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ProgressiveProfessor Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Nov-27-11 08:50 AM
Response to Reply #15
17. CBUs are not illegal nor banned by the Geneva Accords
The Oslo treaty is not universally recognized nor supported, the media's hyperbole not withstanding.

The defeated effort would have been the first UNIVERSALLY RECOGNIZED restriction of CBUs. So rather than get a partial restriction that could be expanded, there is none and there is essentially no authoritative regulation of them. Good move there buckos.

Related article here: http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2011/nov/25/us-cluster-...

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happyslug Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Nov-27-11 08:51 AM
Response to Reply #17
29. Not accepting something, does NOT make it NOT Universal
At the end of WWII the US HANGED various members of the Japanese Military and Government for violating a treaty Japan (and others) had REFUSED to sign let alone ratify. The reason given was simple, given that MOST countries had ratified the treaty banning war for offensive purposes, it had become Universal and as such applied to the Japanese WWII leadership.

That same rule can be made to apply to US personnel even without any US ratification if the vast majority of nations sign off on a treaty. International law does NOT require everyone to sign on, which was the holding by the Courts (and the US Supreme Court), but that it is universally known and accepted. A mere Majority of Nations signing a treaty can be enough to make it universal and as such applicable to ALL nations, including countries that refused to sign such treaties.


Sorry the Oslo treaty has more support world wide then the 1920s era ban on offensive wars, thus it cn be viewed as "Universal" even as the US continues to reject it.
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ProgressiveProfessor Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Nov-27-11 08:51 AM
Response to Reply #29
31. I suggest you review its language and enforcement mechanisms
Edited on Sun Nov-27-11 08:42 AM by ProgressiveProfessor
The Oslo accord has no teeth. The US is not the only nation to reject it and does not consider it binding in the least.

The rejected approach of attaching some limits to the Geneva Accords was a starting point. Those who rejected it in favor of Oslo made a serious tactical mistake.
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KoKo Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Nov-27-11 08:50 AM
Response to Reply #15
18. I hope this is TRUE and not some press release where it will end up the opposite happened...
but a :kick: if we finally have those uprising against US Policy of Cluster Bombs and the MIC lobbying K-Street for More and More "Cluster Bombs" and "Drones."

Drones are the next thing we need to put a huge collar on. Never Happen though... :-(
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ProgressiveProfessor Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Nov-27-11 08:51 AM
Response to Reply #18
21. In the long term view, this was a setback to control of CBU munitions
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bread_and_roses Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Nov-27-11 02:30 PM
Response to Reply #21
33. Gee - why do I consider Human Rights Watch a better source than you?
I'll go with HRW take on this one, Professor.
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bahrbearian Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Nov-27-11 08:50 AM
Response to Reply #15
19. YeeHaw...
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krispos42 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Nov-27-11 08:50 AM
Response to Reply #15
20. There's a lot of unexploded ordnance in war
It's one of the reasons to 1) avoiding war, and lacking 1, 2) fighting war on the enemy's land.


In addition to the big stuff (unexploded bombs of the 500+ pound variety), there are artillery shells (30-95 pounds), Hydra unguided rocket warheads (10 pounds), 40mm grenades, and god knows what else.

It's pretty messy out there. However, cluster bombs have a definite military use, so if there's a problem with the bomblets, then it should be easy enough to fix it.

The Spanish, for example, developed a bomblet with an electrical fuze. The fuze was powered by a capacitor, which was charged by a tiny windmill on each bomblet.

Basically, the cluster bomb is dropped, the case splits open and the bomblets are strewn into the air. The windmills charge the capacitors until the bomblet hits the ground. Either the bomblet goes off on impact, or it's a dud. But if it's a dud, the capacitor loses its charge in about 5 minutes, rendering it safe to handle because there is no longer any juice to ignite the explosive.

*shrug*

A large part of the problem seems to be that the cluster bombs are often very cold when they're dropped. Fighters fly at high, cold altitudes, which apparently inhibits the chemical reactions in the fuzes somewhat. The temperature at 30,000 is something like -50F, so a fighter at that altitude that swoops in low to attack something will be dropping freezing-cold bombs.

I absolutely agree that this is something that needs fixing.
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ProgressiveProfessor Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Nov-27-11 08:51 AM
Response to Reply #20
22. Reportedly the newer fuse designs address the failure rate
Edited on Sat Nov-26-11 08:28 PM by ProgressiveProfessor
While the older units met spec, the newer units are considered much more reliable. One of the better designs (on paper) comes from IMI (Israel).

The military using them wants them to work as planned as well.

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krispos42 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Nov-27-11 08:51 AM
Response to Reply #22
23. Well, sure
The fighter pilots don't want to do all that flying, risking their asses at low altitude and high speed, just to have 10 or 20% of what they drop not work! It's like the US torpedo problem in World War Two!

But the people on the receiving end have a much greater desire for all the bombs to go off at the same time!
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ProgressiveProfessor Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Nov-27-11 08:51 AM
Response to Reply #23
28. A bit more to it than that
CBUs are more expensive than general purposes bombs and are niche weapons. They take up space that other more general purpose weapons would otherwise fill in the weapons depots and shipboard magazines. They are a somewhat of a bother in the logistics universe. However, when you need them for certain target types, they are the best answer today.

The failure numbers are debatable. The claims made by opponents are all over the map. In the US inventory, the tests run on each lot are done under controlled circumstances, and there is typically testing done through out the life cycle. If the weapons were not meeting spec, they would be withdrawn. Given the age of the systems, I would guess that it is not a performance based spec so there are specific requirements for the CBUs themselves.
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cosmicone Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Nov-27-11 08:51 AM
Response to Reply #15
24. The countries that opposed the ban are also
the countries faced with terrorism of extreme magnitude. It is easy to call for a ban when one has never been victimized by Al Q'aeda, Hamas, Hezbollaz, Chechnya and Pakistan.
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saras Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Nov-27-11 08:51 AM
Response to Reply #15
25. Cluster munitions are designed to attack civilians. How well they work is a red herring issue.
Even DURING conflicts, they aren't sensible weapons against real armies.
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ProgressiveProfessor Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Nov-27-11 08:51 AM
Response to Reply #25
26. Totatly debunked nonsense...
Edited on Sat Nov-26-11 10:40 PM by ProgressiveProfessor
There are real and specific tactical uses for CBUs, they include:
- SAMs
- Artillery (including missile launch sites)
- Supply Depots
- FARPs/expedient airfields
- Unarmored troops in the open

For those kind of targets, CBUs are the most effective conventional weapons. They are not effective for things like AFVs, buildings etc. The US military considers them a bit of a niche weapon and used them only for the targets for which they are effective
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happyslug Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Nov-27-11 08:51 AM
Response to Reply #26
30. You forgot the main targets, Highways
Route Denial Munitions (Another name for cluster bombs) were designed and are used for primary one purpose, to deny the use of some piece of land (Generally a road, but could be a path). AS such mines and other Route Denial Munitions work quite fine, people see the clusters bombs and stay away from them. It is easy to walk around the Cluster bombs (Most are quite bright, so to be seen, the intention is NOT to blow something up, but for people NOT to use that land to go somewhere else). Thus the main targets are Trucks, wagons (including ox and horse drawn carts) and other means of moving troops or supplies rapidly.

A side affect of this is that often the side dropping the Cluster bombs MUST also decide it can NOT use that route. Thus in most fighting, such weapons are avoided, to permit one's own troops to use the same ground. On the other hand, if the side dropping the cluster bombs NEVER intend to go into that area, the cluster bombs can stay there for decades (or until someone blows then up). This leads to high civilian deaths do to cluster bombs and such high death rates have lead to their ban by most Nations.
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ProgressiveProfessor Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Nov-27-11 08:51 AM
Response to Reply #30
32. Those are Area Denial Munitions.
And a light overview of them is here: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Area_Denial_Artillery_Muni...

There several different versions of aerial and artillery dispersed mines in US stockpiles, and they are made by many other nations. There are also other specialized sub munitions, such as BAT.

US versions go inert after a period of time, but they are nothing to be fooled with even after they have timed out. Some consider these mines more than cluster munitions. They are not the CBUs which many focus on and were the target of the article.

Removal of unexploded ordinance of all kinds after a conflict remains a serious issue. With either kind of sub munition, they are not "designed to attack civilians" and are indeed "sensible weapons against real armies"
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happyslug Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Nov-27-11 08:23 PM
Response to Reply #32
34. The US CLAIMS its Area Denial Munitions go inert, but that is far from the truth
Such munitions often malfunction, simply do to the blasts needed to get them to the target area or the blast to spread them apart. Such Munitions MUST be able to survive such blasts. For example if we are talking of artillery, the munition must survive the blast out of the Cannon, then the blast of the Shell over the target area, then the fall to the ground. That three points of possible malfunction. If the munition is aircraft delivered, it avoids the initial blast out of the Cannon tube (But replaced by some sort of jerk do to the drop from the plane) but the other two causes of failure still exits.

Remember the three evil enemies of electronics, Oil, Water and Vibration. These munitions laying on the ground are exposed to water by just laying on the ground. Vibration from the blasts and the fall to the ground. Oil from plants the munitions land on can also enter and make the munition malfunction.

Now, when I was in the Field Artillery in the 1980s we joked about the shells we were firing. Each ran about $20 a shell. Shells are cheap. On the other hand the fuses ran from $95 each to $300 each (This is the 1980s). The reason was each fuse had to be able to withstand the blast out of the tube and still go off at the target. When we were setting Time Fuses, we were told we could NOT turn the fuse more then three times around, if we did the fuse had to be gently put down and bomb disposal had to be called in to get rid of it. The reason for this is the fuse was designed to go active once it turned three times around AFTER it exited the cannon tube when the Round was fired. It was a delegate design, Timex took pride of its product (Yes, Timex main product was NOT only cheap mechanical watches of the 1930s through the 1970s, but fuses, both used similar mechanical mechanisms).

Even today, the Army has NOT switched from Mechanical time do to the fact it can withstand the blast out of a Cannon and explode over the target (The US appear to have used mechanical time since WWII, through I have read British WWII reports of the British using black powder on its "Timed" fuses during WWII). Given the price of Mechanical time fuses (Timex stopped making watches when the digital watch came in, could no longer compete as to price) I do NOT see Mechanical time pieces being used in such cluster bombs. Thus the devices in the cluster has to be some sort of electronic time piece which are suppose to turn off the cluster bomb after a set time. I do NOT trust such devices given they are exposed to two of electronics enemies (Water and Vibration). It also appears the Army does NOT trust such electronics, even today the preferred way to handle Cluster bombs, even of US manufacture, is to shoot them with a 50 caliber Rifle from at least 100 yards away (IF none available then 7.62 mm rifles from the same distance, but the 7.62 does NOT guarantee that the cluster bomb will go "boom" when hit, the 50 caliber almost always get the cluster bomb to blow).

Sorry, the only report I have found as to the reliability of such cluster bombs turning themselves off indicate a failure rate up to 30%. That was from the Congressional research service dated January 11, 2011:

There appear to be significant discrepancies among failure rate estimates. Some manufacturers claim a submunition failure rate of 2% to 5%, whereas mine clearance specialists have frequently reported failure rates of 10% to 30%. A number of factors influence submunition reliability. These include delivery technique, age of the submunition, air temperature, landing in soft or muddy ground, getting caught in trees and vegetation, and submunitions being damaged after dispersal, or landing in such a manner that their impact fuzes fail to initiate.

http://www.fas.org/sgp/crs/weapons/RS22907.pdf

Sounds like the Military that uses Cluster weapons, exclude from the failure rate anything cluster bomb that did not work (i.e. did NOT turn if self off) if some other reason other then failure of the Mechanism was the cause (i.e. if the Bomb fell into mud, its "Soft" Landing was the cause of the failure, not the failure of the mechanism, if the bomb was damaged during the blast to dispersed the bombs, also not counted for the failure was do to the blast not the mechanism).

On the other hand Mine Clearance Specialists list every bomb that is active for whatever reason as a failure. Classic case of Statistics don't lie, but liars know how to make Statistics. a 30% failure rate is still unacceptable, given the nature of such weapons and they long life (i.e. can be active for decades).
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CreekDog Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Nov-27-11 08:51 AM
Response to Reply #15
27. There are some fights that are good to lose
I also wish we were on the right side of the land mine debate (and that there was no need for a "debate").
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