A Club You Don't Want To Be A Part Of

Why have India and Pakistan not worked out a deal amongst themselves to sign on to the cluster bomb treaty? They, China, the U.S., and Israel are the only five countries in the U.N. to not sign on. In case you're not aware of the issue:

WHAT IS A CLUSTER BOMB?: Fired by artillery or dropped by aircraft, cluster bombs are canisters that open in flight and eject dozens or hundreds of "bomblets" across a wide area, typically the size of one or two football fields. Bomblets are small metallic spheres or cylinders that can be as small as a flashlight battery, with about the same force as a hand grenade. The weapon is designed to slow or halt an enemy army by destroying or disabling troops and vehicles over a wide area in a single attack.

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DANGERS: An exploding bomblet sends jagged shrapnel through the air much like grenades and mines. It can kill or maim someone within 10 to 50 yards. Bomblets can be set to explode above ground or on the ground with a time delay. Usually they are set to detonate on impact, but 5 percent to 25 percent typically fail to explode, essentially creating minefields wherever they land. The unexploded "duds" are volatile and can detonate if disturbed.

In responding to the issue earlier this year, the Indian government (1,2,3) has said that developing countries are too poor to get weapons that are not as damaging. In response to this treaty, Pakistan's government said it has "concerns...both humanitarian and on security" with the ban.

Stupid, cruel, bad public relations, and inhumane?

You can get a copy of the treaty here. hat tip to OpenLeft.

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