A U.S. Defense Department memo says the United States will begin using
cluster bombs that pose less danger to civilians, after international
pressure to change its use of the controversial weapon.
three-page Defense Department memo requires that, effective in 2018, 99
percent all the bomblets dispersed by a cluster bomb would detonate on
Cluster bombs explode in mid-air and scatter hundreds of
smaller bombs over a wide area. Currently bomblets that do not explode
on impact can remain active for years, often killing or maiming
The Defense Department memo says the
United States will also begin reducing its inventory of cluster bombs
that do not meet the new safety requirements.
The change was
made after the United States boycotted a May conference in Dublin,
during which 111 countries agreed to ban the use of cluster bombs.
United States opposed the ban saying cluster bombs are an effective
weapon that can help save the lives of both soldiers and civilians.
Dublin Treaty requires countries to destroy their cluster bomb
stockpiles within eight years, stop selling cluster bombs and
discourage their use.
Some information for this report was provided by AP.