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http://news.ninemsn.com.au/article.aspx?id=270565

Australian military personnel have been given approval to use cluster bombs, despite the fact the weapons often leave behind tiny unexploded "bomblets" which can kill and injure civilians many years later.

The Australian Defence Force have been seeking permission to use the munitions in combat against enemy-armoured vehicles.

The foreign affairs, defence and trade committees yesterday rejected a bill issued by the Australian Democrats last year which aimed at preventing the military from deploying such weapons.

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Instead, the senators called for Australian planes and others not to drop cluster bombs near civilian populations, as set down in international law.

The committee also recommended that the federal government consider cluster bomb legislation similar to laws introduced in other countries.

But some technical experts question whether it is possible to use the controversial munitions without endangering innocent lives.

British bomb disposal expert Colin King told the Sydney Morning Herald the bombs were used by Israel in its recent war in Lebanon with devastating results.

"They did not work anything like as reliably as they were expected to," said King, who added that Israel Military Industries described the weapon's safety rate as "disingenuous".

Senator Lyn Allison, who proposed the Australian Democrats bill to ban the bombs last year, said there was no such thing as a low-risk cluster bomb.

The Defence Department claimed taking the weapon out of their arsenal would "put Australia at a serious military disadvantage in future conflicts, which would be detrimental to our national interest".

Handicap International encouraged the government to study the humanitarian risk further before using the bombs in combat.

"As with landmines, cluster munitions pose a serious threat to civilians during and after the conflicts," it said.

"Australia should also be setting an example based on its commitment to humanitarian law that weapons that are indiscriminate should not be used."

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So what happened to the doctrine of jus in bello? Somehow our government doesn't believe the Geneva Convention and the principle of distinction doesn't seem to apply to them?
 

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The ADF has some of the most stringent engagment rules in the world. No doubt they would abort any strike where there is a risk of civillian collateral damage. Assuming they get cluster bombs that all explode on impact I don't see a probelm.
 

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If by "nice" you mean ones that are less likely to extract a civilian death toll long after the cessation of hostilities, why not?

That's a reasonable aim, but perhaps impratical - would you ask the ADF to compromise a mission by using what is deemed a less suitable weapon? Of course you're trusting the military to make the call about what weapon is most suitable, but no one else is in a position to judge at the time the decision needs to be made.

A similar argument could be run with iron bombs and collateral damage. While GPS-guided weapons have significant cost advantages over laser-guided ones, I don't think we (or the US for that matter) would have eliminated their use.
 

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That's a reasonable aim, but perhaps impratical - would you ask the ADF to compromise a mission by using what is deemed a less suitable weapon?
Kind of hard to make a call on that one. Maybe if the Vietnam vets I've spoken to would talk about how we might've won the war with more efficient cluster bombs, I'd be more inclined to agree with you gung-ho types.
 

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I remember reading somewhere that some Australian pilots in Iraq refused to take part in a particular mission with US forces for fears of civilian casualties.
 

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OSJ, thank you for posting the link to that film.

I'd heard about the Fallujah genocide, and I'm glad that I could learn more about it. Such a terrible, disgusting thing to do to people.

And on the topic of cluster bombs, Australia doesn't need them. Maybe if we pumped more money into progressive foreign policy rather than our military, then we wouldn't ever need to use them.

Wasn't it Howard who stated these bombs would be 'civilian friendly'? -what a joke. Even the British scientist who conducted the report for the Government said that was a ridiculous statement.
 

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What use do we have for this weapon exactly, seems to be just another grotesquely wasteful purchase to help prop up American defence contractors. Fucking defence department, it's like a black hole of idiocy and flagrant waste, though I suppose there never was much chance once that petulant cockstick Nelson somehow got hold of the reigns. Pointless political purchases rock! ****.
 

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The ADF has some of the most stringent engagment rules in the world. No doubt they would abort any strike where there is a risk of civillian collateral damage. Assuming they get cluster bombs that all explode on impact I don't see a probelm.

Yeah we do, and the Yanks are even taking credit for some operatives the Aussies conducted, but meh, I know the real story.

I don't see a problem with the weapons either, in fact I'm surprised its taken so long to get them. Wonder whats going to carry them.
 

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I don't see a problem with the weapons either, in fact I'm surprised its taken so long to get them. Wonder whats going to carry them.
Apparently four year old children.

May-as-well start using landmines again, and why not mustard gas, Nuclear bombs etc?
 

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Cluster bombs are a very handy weapon, especially for attacking something like a runway (as one example), where damage can be caused over a wide area. Of course all care should be taken to ensure that the bomblets explode, and do not become a problem later as UXBs.

What do some of you guys want, the ADF to just disband or become a disater relief organisation only? It needs weapons, or we may as well just hand over all of our defence responsibilities to the US. And if you think our goverment only has small influence now, what do you think would happen after that?

As said above, trust Australian ADF members to use adequate force to complete a mission and not to use weapons recklessly.
 

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we should develop our own technology
like e.gthe kangaroo hover jet
platypus amphibious tank
echidna assault tank
 

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And on the topic of cluster bombs, Australia doesn't need them. Maybe if we pumped more money into progressive foreign policy rather than our military, then we wouldn't ever need to use them.
Wait, wait, wait. You're already jumping ahead. Who says we're ever going to need to use them?
 

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we should develop our own technology
like e.gthe kangaroo hover jet
platypus amphibious tank
echidna assault tank
How about a bomb that, instead of exploding, releases hundreds of funnel web spiders and taipans. Nobody would dare mess with us. :cheers:
 

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Wait, wait, wait. You're already jumping ahead. Who says we're ever going to need to use them?

I suspect that we will be using these things and quite soon. Despite what people think the world is still a volatile place and the essential lubricant that runs all our economies is "oil" - and whilst there is no alternative to oil to run our economies we will be involved in fraccas around the planet to protect supply lines and shipping lanes.

I have no problem with Australia arming itself to the teeth. As the monster economies of China and India deplete the world of non-renewable resources the squabbles for these things is going to continue.

Australia as a nation that contains much of the world various resources is ripe for the picking in any international world war or conflict.

Don't think for any minute the the ADF doesn't have contingency plans for any number of future conflict scenarios, and that includes WMD's, nuclear and civilian harming ones.

The world changes constantly and our ADF are preparing themselves for that.

js
 
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