Ban the (Cluster) Bomb

On December 3, representatives from more than 80 countries gathered in Oslo, Norway to sign a treaty that bans cluster bombs. The United States did not take part.

Cluster bombs are weapons of no discrimination that disperse hundreds of "bomblets," many of which do not explode on impact but remain where they land as de facto landmines. They may explode when touched by members of the military. They may also explode when stepped on or picked up by unsuspecting civilians.

They fail to discriminate between civilians and combatants; their bright colors and size attract children, sometimes at the expense of life and limb. They can continue to kill years after they are dropped and peace is achieved.

Brooke Anderson, President-elect Barack Obama’s chief national security spokesperson, has said the president-elect will carefully review the treaty. This appears to be a moment when our voices could make a difference. I sent a letter to the editor of my local newspaper (the Louisville Courier-Journal), and signed a petition to the Secretary of Defense urging the United States to renounce cluster bombs.

You could do the same.

Learn more about the efforts to ban cluster bombs.

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