Cluster munitions now banned for UK armed forces

Discussion in 'Current Affairs, News and Analysis' started by MoistVelvet, Mar 24, 2010.

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  1. The House of Commons has passed a law banning the use of cluster munitions.

    With the UK now falling in line fully with the Oslo convention on cluster munitions, where do British forces stand when operating alongside non-signatories such as the USA? Would a British soldier requesting CAS from a US aircraft be prosecuted if cluster munitions were used? Although the controller on the ground should be able to dictate what ordnance is used, it hasn't been unheard of for some US pilots to simply jump in on the bun fight and offer a bigger stick whether asked for or not.

    Has passing this law simply created another can of worms waiting to be opened?
  2. Probably not a bad idea as I gather they can be quite dangerous if you get too close.
  3. Perhaps our legally appointed representatives would like to earn their Afghan campaign medals by sitting on the front line with the lads and dictate as to what ordance would be appropriate in a given situation.

    Perhaps they could also legislate for the Taliban to stop using IEDs.
  4. WAH?!

    Not only that, Britain has been under pressure to adopt a ban on cluster munitions. IIRC, there was a news report a while ago blaming the unexploded munitions for a rise in limb losses.
  5. I believe it was ironic.
  6. Sympathetic_Reaction

    Sympathetic_Reaction LE Book Reviewer

    Quie an interesting definition of cluster munitions actually...obviously written to exclude nukes and smart weapons.

    I remember playing with a modular design for Artillery shells, basically a carrier shell with modular payload allowing airburst/ground/smoke/illum all in the same shell. Unfortunately although it was a nice design and no real difference (safetywise) from a dumb arty shell it would have fallen foul of these shelved last I heard.

  7. Does this apply to MRLS or is it just, literally, cluster "bombs"?, in which case seems a bit pointless as we got read of JP233 & BL755 ages ago
  8. Sympathetic_Reaction

    Sympathetic_Reaction LE Book Reviewer

    I believe it applies to the 'cluster munition' warhead for MLRS..the definition is below:

  9. Yes it does apply to MLRS, bomblet has not been an approved ammunition since signing in 2008 - as such this law simply confirms our earlier signing of the international treaty.

    In terms of the multinational question with the weapons platform, the headquarters of the AOR and the individual controller/targeteer potentially all being of different nationalities, with different ROEs and different restrictions on use of munitions yes, this is one big can of worms, especially when not all parties may be signed up to the international criminal court's jurisdiction either!

    As a rule, the most restrictive control should be applied and a UK FST could not call for a cluster munition from another national asset.
  10. Nasty weapons - nice weapons. All clear now, Princess Diana will be happy
  11. Those making the case for the ban did so on the basis of cluster weapons' long term post-conflict hazard to civilians. Nothing to do with their horrible naughty nastiness at point of use.
  12. Soon we will be expected to form lines and wear bright colours so the enemy can see advancing troops and make the decsion of whether they wish to fight or not.

    I am of the opinion that any munition is fair game when trying to kill your enemy. As technology improves we are likely to see munitions that fail to function less and less not to mention more accurate delivery methods and tighter rules of engagement.

    Further imposing such rules stinks of more examples of tying the commanders hands behind their back. It also raises confusing questions such as the one the OP posed. I understand the decision being made but when you already consider the ROE, ban on VO mines etc I wonder once the flood gates open where will it end?
  13. Which should now be the case, however that perhaps wouldn't offer protection if a passing septic air jocky decided to pop by and shoot off his load of cluster munitions without being invited to the dance first.

    Personally I think it is a good thing that these weapons have been discarded and considered unlawful, with operations forever taking place nearby and within civilian communities the use of such cluster munitions is unjustified for reaching the ultimate aim of counter insurgency fighting and winning over the population. The technology already exists to offer more precise and surgical ways of removing the enemy without littering the ground with ordnance that kills the very people you are fighting for and alongside with. Cluster munitions were no doubt good for what they were designed for, but times have changed and I don't hear of the Taliban massing in soft skin vehicles or advancing across open land in large formations, these outdated weapons are just as relevant on today's battlefield as chemical weapons - but hey thats another topic!
  14. Out of curiosity...

    I saw this (bloody frightning, actually!) weapon description/sales pitch here, and wondered, would the 155mm Bonus shell count as a cluster munition, given that it has two independent submunitions?
  15. In answer to the poster above me, It is not if "Each explosive submunition is designed to detect and engage a single target object; " taken from the quote above.