Arms control advocates are decrying a new U.S. Department of Defence
announcement that it will be building and selling 1,300 cluster bombs to
Saudi Arabia, worth some 641 million dollars.
The munitions at the heart of the sale are technically legal under
recently strengthened U.S. regulations aimed at reducing impact on
civilian safety, but activists contend that battlefield evidence
suggests the weapons actually exceed those regulations.
weapons have not been used by the U.S. in over a decade, so it’s hard
to see why it’s in our interest to sell these to Saudi Arabia.” -- Daryl
Kimball of the Arms Control Association
Opponents say the move runs counter to a strengthening push to outlaw
the use of cluster bombs around the world while also contradicting
recent votes by both the U.S. and Saudi governments critical of the use
of these munitions.
“Both the U.S. and Saudi Arabia have recently condemned the use of
cluster munitions by the government of Syria – that’s ironic given this
new sale, because a cluster munition is a cluster munition, no matter
what kind it is,” Daryl Kimball, executive director of the Arms Control
Association, a watchdog group here in Washington, told IPS. Link