United States military indefinitely delays ban on cluster bombs

03 Diciembre, 2017, 00:07 | Author: Kelly Blake
  • A man covers windows in a building which was damaged by shelling in Donetsk

The Pentagon will soon issue a new policy on cluster bombs, abandoning a previous plan that mandated the military ditch older versions of the controversial weapons by 2019, according to a copy of a Defense Department memorandum signed by Deputy Secretary of Defense Patrick Shanahan and obtained by CNN.

In 2008 then-Secretary of Defense Robert Gates ordered the military to cease using older types of cluster bombs by January 1, 2019, and to retain only newer versions of the bombs that explode at least 99% of the time or have advanced safeguards that would automatically defuse unexploded ordnance, reducing the risks of injuring civilians.

Cluster bombs are anti-personnel and anti-vehicle weapons launched from aircraft or artillery that disperse as many as several hundred bomblets over a large area. That can lead to civilian deaths and injuries long after conflicts end.

In the memo, Shannahan calls cluster munitions "legitimate weapons with clear military utility" and argues that "we can not risk mission failure or accept the potential of increased military and civilian casualties by forfeiting the best available capabilities".

Cluster munitions have been widely condemned by rights groups for their impact on civilians.

In a memorandum signed Thursday, Deputy Defense Secretary Patrick Shanahan said the United States remains committed to fielding weapons that are effective in war and that "minimize unintended harm" to civilians and U.S. and partner forces.

The Bank of America building is shown in Los Angeles California
REUTERS Mike Blake Global Financial Giants Fund Deadly Cluster Bomb Production

Under the new policy, the Pentagon says bombs that have advanced self-destruct or deactivation technology would also be acceptable for future acquisition.

'Although the (Defense) Department seeks to field a new generation of more highly reliable munitions, we can not risk mission failure or accept the potential of increased military and civilian casualties by forfeiting the best available capabilities, ' Shanahan wrote. Dianne Feinstein of California and Patrick Leahy of Vermont introduced a bill that would have banned funding for cluster bombs that do not meet a 1% unexploded ordnance standard.

Defense Department spokesman Tom Crosson said in a statement that the decision "was a hard choice, not one the Department made lightly". But it exempts certain types of munitions that the Pentagon says it would nonetheless classify as cluster munitions. "On the eve of that deadline, the Pentagon has chose to go back on its commitment, just as it did after pledging to develop alternatives to anti-personnel landmines more than two decades ago", Leahy said in a statement.

"After spending hundreds of millions of dollars researching alternatives to cluster munitions, the USA has decided it can't produce "safe" cluster munitions so it will keep using "unsafe" ones", Mary Wareham, arms division advocacy director at Human Rights Watch (HRW), said in a statement.

"We condemn this decision to reverse the long-held U.S. commitment not to use cluster munitions that fail more than 1 per cent of the time, resulting in deadly unexploded sub-munitions." she said.

The new policy also outlines possible waivers. The Convention on Cluster Munitions, an global treaty that began in 2018 and has been signed by more than 100 countries, prohibits the use, transfer and stockpile of the weapon. Over 100 countries signed the pact as full parties and 17 as signatories, but the USA declined to do so.

More news: Rusia y Arabia Saudita disputarán el partido inaugural del Mundial 2018
More news: Jameis Winston to return as Bucs QB on Sunday
More news: Amazon Offers Early Showings of 'Jumanji: Welcome to the Jungle'

Recomendado:



Popular

El proyecto de reforma fiscal en EEUU se estanca en el Senado
Además tiene el objetivo de eliminar las penalizaciones para aquellos estadounidenses que no contraten un seguro médico. La rebaja impositiva promovida por Trump es la mayor desde la de 1986 del expresidente Ronald Reagan.

New Photo Of Andromeda Galaxy Shows Massive Black Holes
The two supermassive black holes are nearly certainly being drawn together by mutual gravitational attraction. The binary system is the most closely orbiting pair of black holes of their kind we have ever seen.

Eagles' Malcolm Jenkins will not raise fist during national anthem Sunday
In addition, there would be other fundraising opportunities, including telethons and auctions of jerseys worn in games. The league understands that some players will continue to protest, but it is seeking to move forward anyway'.

Urban Meyer won't commit to QB starter for Big Ten title game
Saturday's Big Ten Championship game is Ohio State's final opportunity to state their case for the College Football Playoff. Meyer called Barrett's progress during a week of treatment as "very positive". "He's been cleared to play", Meyer said.

El Senado entendió: la Belisario Domínguez es para una mujer
Ha presentado trabajos e impartido conferencias en congresos y múltiples foros tanto nacionales como internacionales. Sería la séptima mujer en recibir esta distinción en 65 años de vida de esta presea.

Prince William Delivers George's Handwritten Christmas List to Santa
The youngster appears to have also circled an option stressing he's been on his best behaviour for the previous year . After trying really hard to be a good boy all year, Prince George has very politely asked Santa for a police vehicle .

Aprueban recurso que posibilitaría reelección de Evo en 2019 — Bolivia
Morales pisotea de esta manera la Constitución que él mismo hizo aprobar en 2009 y que impide más de dos mandatos seguidos. Ahora, si gana las elecciones de 2019, seguirá hasta 2025.

Bitcoin smashes through $10000 to fresh all-time high
In a statement posted after a cabinet meeting, Prime Minister Lee Nak-yeon warned on the dangers of virtual currencies . The cryptocurrency hit an all-time high on Monday after its price soared to more than 15% over the weekend.

Melania Trump "enfurece" contra revista de moda
Una réplica de la Casa Blanca hecha a base de 136 kilos de jengibre. Si algo nos queda claro que tiene la primera dama, es estilo.

Helicóptero del ejército mexicano se desplomó al fumigar amapolas
Personal de la Secretaría de Seguridad Pública de Guerrero y de la Sedena apoyan en las labores de rescate. Más tarde, se corroboró que el percance ocurrió a las 10:40 horas de este martes.