A Weapon We Could Do Without
By Patrick Appel
Matthew Bolton wants Obama to ban cluster bombs:
There were some noticeable absentees as 100 countries gathered in Oslo this week to sign a treaty banning cluster munitions. While 18 of the 26 Nato countries were on board, the world's superpowers the US, Russia and China were all no-shows....To overcome resistance to the cluster bomb ban, Obama should argue that signing the treaty would represent a small step toward reinstating US global credibility and good will, following eight years of disregard for humanitarian constraints on war, multilateral institutions and international opinion.
He could also argue that it's the correct humanitarian and strategic choice. Laos is still finding cluster-bombs, "bombies" as they call them, 30 years after they were dropped. Cluster-bombs are imprecise weapons with long-lasting consequences. They do nothing to win hearts and minds. In a surprise move, Afghanistan signed the agreement last week. Maybe we should follow their lead.