Yesterday, The United States along with Japan, Poland and Romania refused to sign the ban. Israel did not take part in the conference in Oslo. Forty-six countries pledged to sign the treaty the treaty including Britain, which has a major stockpile and France which is a manufacturer.
A cluster bomb is a container holding hundreds of smaller bombl;ets. It opens in mid air and disperses the bomblets over a wide area. The bomblets do not always explode on impact, which means they can lay dormant and kill and maim civilians many years later.
A report of by Handicap International claimed that 98% of casulaties from cluster munitions are non-combattants.
Witness the ongoing nightmare of cleaning up after the Israelis in Lebanon where thousands of civilians have been killed and maimed by unexploded cluster munitions in the aftermath of their invasion.
These weapons have very little practical use in the way we fight wars now. Their primary use seems to be against a civillian population. The Israelis violated existing military agreements regarding their use. Again, America puts itself above the norms of International behaviour and makes itself into a state that will use any means neccessary to accomplish its ends. It also has a lucrative arms manufacturing industry and as long as we keep making them, armies are going to keep buying them and using them.