Skip to Content
    MCC Canada        MCC U.S.

U.S. cluster bomb use

Over the past 50 years, the Unites States has been the principal producer and user of cluster munitions, having used them in Laos, Cambodia, Vietnam, Iraq and Kuwait (1st Gulf War), Kosovo and Serbia, Afghanistan and Iraq. More recently, U.S.-made cluster munitions were found in Lebanon after the war with Israel in 2006, and there are credible reports of a U.S. cluster bomb attack in Yemen in December of 2009.

cbus iraq

U.S. BLU-97 unexploded cluster bomblets found in a wheat field in Iraq. MCC Photo by Titus Peachey, 2004

After all of these wars, there is strong documentation of thousands, sometimes millions of unexploded cluster munitions left behind which resulted in civilian casualties after hostilities ceased.

The U.S. did not participate in the Oslo Process which resulted in an international treaty banning the production, stockpiling, transfer and use of cluster muntions. Instead, the U.S. has promoted technical fixes to cluster munitions which would lower the failure rate and reduce the amount of unexploded ordnance left after a war. The official U.S. policy is to reduce the failure rate of all U.S. cluster munitions to 1% or less by 2018.