Wednesday, April 30, 2014

A Congressional research report suggests a review of weapons that the U.S. has substituted in place of cluster munitions to help with future U.S. policy.

A report published April 29 by the Congressional Research Service on cluster munitions and “potential issues for Congress” asserts that the U.S. military has not used the weapons since 2003.

"For subsequent military operations, where cluster munitions would otherwise have been the weapon of choice," the report states, "Congress might review what types of weapons were substituted in place of cluster munitions and how effective they were in achieving the desired tactical results." It says, "Also worth considering are effects-based weapons systems and operations, which seek to achieve the same or similar effect against a potential target without applying a ‘kinetic solution’ such as a cluster munition. Such insights could prove valuable in analyzing U.S. policy options on the future of cluster munitions.”

The report notes the establishment of the 2008 Convention on Cluster Munitions without the participation of the U.S. and details recent Congressional initiatives against cluster munitions, including a 17 July 2013 letter to President Obama from Senators Dianne Feinstein and Patrick Leahy and Representative James McGovern urging that “outdated” U.S. policy on cluster munitions be “immediately” and “expeditiously” reviewed to put the U.S. “on a path to join the international Convention on Cluster Munitions.”

According to Cluster Munition Monitor, the last publicly recorded U.S. use of cluster munitions was on 17 December 2009 in Yemen's southern Abyan governorate