No weapons used by U.S.-led coalition forces in Iraq in 2003 caused more civilian casualties than cluster munitions, large weapons that contain dozens or hundreds of smaller submunitions. This briefing paper critically examines the status and quality of current U.S. cluster munition stockpiles and assesses in detail the Department of Defense’s (DoD) fiscal year 2006 (FY 2006) budget requests related to such weapons. It concludes that, despite recent positive developments in its cluster munition policy and procurement practice, the United States retains—and still is willing to use—at least 728 million old, unreliable, and inaccurate cluster submunitions.
US: Status and Quality of Cluster Munition Stockpiles
A Human Rights Watch Briefing Paper