Did the U.S. Lie about Cluster Bomb Use in Iraq
Even among the least covered aspects of the air war in Iraq, the question of cluster-bomb (CBU) use remains especially shadowy. This is hardly surprising. After all, at a time when many nations are moving toward banning the use of cluster munitions -- at a February 2007 conference in Oslo, Norway, 46 of 48 governments represented supported a declaration for a new international treaty and ban on the weapons by 2008 -- the U.S. stands with China, Israel, Pakistan, and Russia in opposing new limits of any kind.
Little wonder. The U.S. military has a staggering arsenal of these weapons. According to a recent Human Rights Watch report, the Army holds 88% of the Pentagon's CBU inventory -- at least 638.3 million of the cluster bomblets that are stored inside each cluster munition; the Air Force and Navy, according to Department of Defense figures, have 22.2 million and 14.7 million of the bomblets, respectively. And even these numbers are considered undercounts by experts.