Arms Sales and Military Aid

Cluster bomb export ban survives the Senate

Peace Action West has been working to generate support for the Cluster Munitions Civilian Protection Act, offered by Sen. Dianne Feinstein (D-CA) in the Senate and Rep. James McGovern (D-MA) in the House.  Cluster bombs are indiscriminate killers that rain bomblets on their targets.  A recent study showed that civilians account for 98% of those injured or killed by these weapons.

Last week, the Senate passed the Foreign Ops Appropriations bill.  Included in the bill was an amendment stating that the US cannot sell or transfer cluster bombs unless the failure rate is 1% or below and agreements are made that the weapons cannot be used in areas where civilians are present.

This is a small step toward ridding the world of these dangerous, inhumane weapons.  The House version of the bill does not include the ban, so the next hurdle is making sure this ban ends up in the final version of the bill.