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Entries in Cluster Bombs (2)


Syria Analysis: Why Assad's Use of SCUD Missiles is Really Important

Cluster bomb and bomblets in Deir al-Asafir on November 27th. This air raid reportedly killed 11 children and wounded others.

See also Friday's Syria Live Coverage: Russia Gives Up on Assad

Assad is using SCUD missiles. The evidence is overwhelming. However, the use of SCUDs, a Cold-War era ballistic missile, is both more important, and less important, than the media and the world leaders are making it out to be.

It is the cumulative use of ballistic missiles, Grad rockets, naval mines, and other strange munitions are important. They signal that Assad has used every weapon left in his arsenal (almost), and is running out of resources almost as fast as he is running out of ideas. The use of these weapons proves that the regime is ready to use inefficient weapons against both insurgents and civilians instead of negotiating an escape and ending this bloody war.

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Wikileaks Special: How US Kept Banned Cluster Bombs in British Territory

On 6 May 2009, representatives from the State Department and Department of Defense hosted officials from Britain's Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO) "to discuss progress on [Britain's] national legislation implementing the Convention on Cluster Munitions ".

Ostensibly, the British delegation's "primary focus at this meeting was to inform Washington of an accelerated date for the request of the removal of U.S. munitions from UK territory". In fact, the two sides were going to discuss an arrangement to allow the Americans to maintain the storage and transit of cluster bombs in that territory.

The solution? The Foreign Office, led by David Miliband, established "temporary exceptions" for the US to store the bombs on a "case-by-case" basis for specific military operations, such as those in Afghanistan.

And in the May 2009 meeting, there was a neat twist. The Foreign Office delegation had an arrangement to keep the deal with the Americans a secret from the British Parliament....

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