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Abandoned Explosive Ordnance Explosive ordnance that has not been used during a conflict and has been left behind unprotected or dumped by a party to an armed conflict. Abandoned explosive ordnance may or may not have been primed, fuzed, armed, or otherwise prepared for use.*

Battle Damage Assessment (BDA) The timely and accurate estimate of damage resulting from the application of military force, either lethal or non-lethal, against a predetermined objective. Battle damage assessment can be applied to the employment of all types of weapon systems (air, ground, naval, and special forces weapon systems) throughout the range of military operations. Battle damage assessment is primarily an intelligence responsibility with required inputs and coordination from the operators. Battle damage assessment is composed of physical damage assessment, functional damage assessment, and target system assessment. In the context of this report, battle damage assessment also refers to Human Rights Watch’s assessment of the conduct of a war through the lens of international humanitarian law and the effects of a war on the civilian population.

Circular Error Probable (CEP) An indicator of the delivery accuracy of a weapon system, used as a factor in determining probable damage to a target. It is the radius of a circle within which half of a missile’s projectiles are expected to fall.

Cluster Bomb Unit (CBU) An aircraft store composed of a dispenser and submunitions. Commonly known as a cluster bomb, the cluster bomb unit, which is an area effect weapon, is a single air-dropped bomb which ejects small bomblets, also called submunitions. They may explode on contact with the ground or be fuzed with a delay.

Collateral Damage Estimate (CDE) Estimate of unintentional or incidental injury or damage to persons or objects that would not be lawful military targets in the circumstances ruling at the time. Such damage is not unlawful so long as it is not excessive in light of the overall military advantage anticipated from the attack.

Dual-Purpose Improved Conventional Munition (DPICM) U.S. Army and Marine Corps submunition that can be launched by artillery, often 155mm, or MLRS rocket. Also called a grenade, it has both anti-armor and antipersonnel effects.

Dud Common term for unexploded munition or cluster submunition; refers to munitions or submunitions that have been fired but did not explode on impact as intended. These are often hazardous duds that can still explode when disturbed.

Emerging Target A target that develops as the war progresses instead of being planned prior to the initiation of hostilities. Emerging targets include time-sensitive targets that are fleeting in nature (such as leadership), enemy forces in the field, mobile targets, and other targets of opportunity.

Explosive Remnants of War (ERW) All types of unexploded ordnance as well as abandoned explosive ordnance.*

Global Positioning System (GPS) A satellite constellation that provides highly accurate position, velocity, and time navigation information to users.

High-Value Target A target the enemy commander requires for the successful completion of the mission. The loss of high-value targets would be expected to seriously degrade important enemy functions throughout the friendly commander’s area of interest. In this report, it refers to Iraqi leadership targets.

Multiple Launch Rocket System (MLRS) This rocket artillery system can carry up to twelve rockets, which can be launched simultaneously or individually. Each rocket contains 644 M77 submunitions.

Precision-Guided Munition (PGM) A weapon that uses a computerized guidance system that directs it toward a target with increased accuracy and less collateral damage. GPS, laser, and television guidance systems are particularly common.

Rules of Engagement (ROE) Directives issued by competent military authority that delineate the circumstances and limitations under which U.S. forces will initiate and/or continue combat engagement with other forces encountered.

Thuraya Satellite telephone company owned and operated in Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates. The Thuraya satellite phone is common in the Middle East. Thuraya phones have an internal GPS chip that allows tracking within a one-hundred-meter radius.

Time-Sensitive Target Those targets requiring immediate response because they pose (or will soon pose) a danger to friendly forces or are highly lucrative, fleeting targets of opportunity.

U.S. Central Command (CENTCOM) One of nine Unified Combatant Commands assigned operational control of U.S. combat forces. Organized as a headquarters element, CENTCOM has no permanent fighting forces assigned to it; instead all four branches of the armed forces provide component commands to Central Command. Its area of responsibility extends from the Horn of Africa to Central Asia.

Unexploded Ordnance (UXO) Explosive ordnance that has been primed, fuzed, armed, or otherwise prepared for use and used in an armed conflict. It may have been fired, dropped, launched, or projected and should have exploded but failed to do so.*

Wind Corrected Munitions Dispenser (WCMD) Guidance kit for weapons which, using only inertial guidance, allows for drop from medium to high altitudes with corrections for wind effects and errors during drop. This kit is used on some models of cluster bombs, including the CBU-103 and the CBU-105.

* Convention on Conventional Weapons (CCW), Draft Explosive Remnants of War Protocol, September 2003.

U.S. Department of Defense, “Dictionary of Military Terms,” June 5, 2003, (retrieved October 21, 2003).

U.S. Central Command, “About CENTCOM,” n.d., (retrieved November 20, 2003).

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December 2003