Perhaps he could ban those nasty bullets next.The defence secretary, Des Browne, has banned the use by Britain's armed forces of 'dumb' cluster bombs.
He has written to Margaret Beckett, the foreign secretary, and Hilary Benn, the international development secretary, saying that his decision was taken on humanitarian grounds. He will tell MPs tomorrow that the ban will be immediate.
Human rights and aid organisations have been pressing for years for a ban on cluster munitions, which scatter hundreds of unexploded bomblets over a wide area, posing a lethal threat to civilians, particularly children.
British and Israeli-made cluster bombs were dropped from RAF jets and fired by British artillery during the invasion of Iraq in 2003. Cluster bombs were also fired by Israeli forces in last year's attacks on southern Lebanon, where as many as 40% failed to explode on impact. Mr Browne refers in his letter to Afghanistan and efforts there to influence "hearts and minds". He points out that the role of British forces there is not just about "creating security", defence officials said yesterday.
The two bombs now banned are the RAF's BL755 weapon, which was used extensively in Iraq and in Kosovo in 1999, and the cluster weapon intended for the army's new multiple rocket launcher, the M26, according to defence officials. Military advisers have told Mr Browne that their withdrawal will involve a "very small but acceptable risk" to British troops. Military commanders have argued that the weapons are needed to protect British troops against large numbers of enemy ground forces. Britain's armed forces will still have so-called "smart" cluster bombs in their arsenal. Defence officials say these bomblets self-destruct and therefore remain a "valid weapon" which do not pose a threat to civilians.
Human rights and aid organisations are likely to welcome the move but have called in the past for a ban on all cluster bombs. They have argued that even with the latest technology there is always a risk that some bomblets will not explode and continue to pose a threat to civilians.
Last year Mr Benn wrote to Mr Browne and Mrs Beckett, describing cluster bombs as "essentially equivalent to land mines" prohibited under the 1999 Ottawa treaty supported by the Labour government.
A report published by charity Handicap International found more than 11,000 confirmed cases where people had been killed or injured by cluster bombs worldwide over the past three decades.
Some 98% of victims in the 23 countries and regions - including Iraq and Afghanistan - were civilians.