cluster munitions

Also found in: Dictionary, Thesaurus, Acronyms, Wikipedia.

cluster munitions


cluster bombs,

air-dropped or ground-launched weapons that open in mid-air and scatter dozens, hundreds, or thousands of smaller submunitions (or bomblets) over a wide area. Such munitions are effective against targets that do not have fixed locations, such as enemy soldiers or vehicles, and also against precise positions, such as airfields and missile sites. Artillery shells that employ principles similar to cluster munitions have existed for decades.

There are a number of types of submunition-based weapons: antipersonnel, which rely on explosive fragmentation to kill troops and destroy unarmored targets; antitank, which utilize shaped-charge warheads to pierce the armor plate of tanks and armored fighting vehicles; incendiary, which are intended to start fires by employing white phosphorus and napalm bomblets; anti-electrical, which interfere with electric power transmission lines by creating short circuits with carbon fiber or aluminum-coated glass fiber bomblets; mine laying, which like land minesmine,
in warfare, term formerly applied to a system of tunnels dug under an army fortification and ending in a chamber where either explosives were placed to be detonated at the chosen moment or the supports were burned, causing the mine and the wall above it to collapse.
..... Click the link for more information.
 do not explode immediately but wait to be triggered by pressure or magnetism; antirunway, which are designed to penetrate concrete before detonating so as to crater and shatter runway surfaces; leaflet dispensing. which drop large quantities of propaganda materials behind enemy lines; and chemical/biological weapons of mass destruction. For humanitarian reasons the last was banned by the Chemical Weapons Convention of 1993, and stockpiles amassed by six nations are being destroyed. Antipersonnel mines deployed by mine-laying cluster munitions are banned under the 1997 Mine Ban Treaty (also known as the Ottawa Convention), which prohibits the production, stockpiling, and use of antipersonnel mines.

Because unexploded bomblets scattered by cluster munitions can remain dormant for years after a conflict ends and then be triggered by a noncombatant (often a child), the Cluster Munition Coalition, the International Committee of the Red Cross, United Nations organizations, other organizations, and many nations began negotiations to produce a treaty banning submunition-based weapons in 2007. A treaty outlawing cluster bombs and giving ratifying nations eight years to destroy such weapons, known as the Oslo Convention, was approved by more than 100 nations in May, 2008, and signed in Dec., 2008; the treaty entered into force in Aug., 2010. Among the nations that did not participate in the conference that adopted the draft were the United States, Russia, China, India, Pakistan, and Israel. A proposal, sponsored by the United States and supported by Russia and China, to regulate cluster munitions as part of the UN Convention on Certain Conventional Weapons was rejected in 2011 by other nations that saw the measure as watering down the Oslo Convention.

Mentioned in ?
References in periodicals archive ?
In his testimony to the Standing Committee on Foreign Affairs and International Development, Turcotte (2013) denied that Canadian security could be compromised if we were not prepared to assist in the use of cluster munitions by non-party state forces:
Completing four and a half years ahead of the dead-line obligated by the Convention on Cluster Munitions shows Denmark s commitment to the treaty and to the protection of civilians worldwide.
Syria's extensive use of cluster munitions has caused needless civilian casualties.
They're cluster munitions that have been used, they haven't just been pulled out of a warehouse and torn apart with a screwdriver", Goose said.
But the time has come for these countries to expand their activities in promoting peace in the world by taking extra steps towards banning cluster munitions, which are mainly used for training purposes by defence forces.
International banks that have terminated commercial relationships with cluster munitions and landmine manufacturers include Credit Suisse, BNP, HSBC, Societe Generale and UBS, among others, according to a report by the antiwar group IKV Pax Christi, titled, "Worldwide Investments in Cluster Munitions: a Shared Responsibility"
Morocco, he noted, develops long been a humanitarian policy which aims to be exemplary and therefore adheres to humanitarian principles and objectives underlying the Convention on cluster munitions.
Last night an RBS spokeswoman said it does not invest in cluster munitions adding the claims Banks will be investigated.
A US based human rights group has accused pro-Gaddafi forces of using cluster munitions in the Libyan rebel-held city of Misrata, endangering civilians.
The CMC points out that Bulgaria signed the Convention on Cluster Munitions in Oslo, Norway, on 3 December 2008, after playing an active role in the Oslo Process.
States insists on using cluster munitions, it must create a stricter
The first formal meeting of states that have ratified an international treaty banning cluster munitions was brought to a close here Friday with the adoption of political declaration and an action plan.

Full browser ?