grassrootspeace.org

November 5, 2007: This website is an archive of the former website, traprockpeace.org, which was created 10 years ago by Charles Jenks. It became one of the most populace sites in the US, and an important resource on the antiwar movement, student activism, 'depleted' uranium and other topics. Jenks authored virtually all of its web pages and multimedia content (photographs, audio, video, and pdf files. As the author and registered owner of that site, his purpose here is to preserve an important slice of the history of the grassroots peace movement in the US over the past decade. He is maintaining this historical archive as a service to the greater peace movement, and to the many friends of Traprock Peace Center. Blogs have been consolidated and the calendar has been archived for security reasons; all other links remain the same, and virtually all blog content remains intact.

THIS SITE NO LONGER REFLECTS THE CURRENT AND ONGOING WORK OF TRAPROCK PEACE CENTER, which has reorganized its board and moved to Greenfield, Mass. To contact Traprock Peace Center, call 413-773-7427 or visit its site. Charles Jenks is posting new material to PeaceJournal.org, a multimedia blog and resource center.

War on Truth  From Warriors to Resisters
Books of the Month

The War on Truth

From Warriors to Resisters

Army of None

Iraq: the Logic of Withdrawal

 

See also The Striking Similarities Between Iraq and Afghanistan as Seen in Images
and also Widespread Carnage of US/UK Bombing

Published June 5, 2003
2003 Marc W. Herold

 

'Steel Rain' Delivered by U.S-U.K.

Airplanes:  Cluster Bombs in Four

Recent Military Campaigns

 

by

 

Marc W. Herold

Departments of Economics and Women's Studies
Whittemore School of Business & Economics
University of New Hampshir

 

 

June 4, 2003

 

 

Terrorized Iraqi troops in 1991, called the exploding cluster bombs 'steel rain.'[1] Such cluster munitions can be either dropped from aircraft or fired as artillery shells. The 'parent' bomb breaks apart as it nears the ground, spewing forth sub-munitions [or bomblets]. The widely-used CBU-87 1'000 lb. cluster bomb leaves a footprint of 458 meters; its wind-corrected version, the CBU-103, has a footprint of 183 meters. The footprint is measured by the area covered by bomblets. Each bomblet [BLU-107] in the CBU-87 injures people in a 152 meters radius. The bomblets drift down to earth with a small parachute. Most explode upon impact, though far from all. The reported 'dud rate' varies from 8 - 22%. The CBU-105, a 1'000 lb. wind-corrected cluster bomb was first used on April 2, 2003, when a B-52 dropped six of them on "an Iraqi tank column heading south out of Baghdad.: The CBU-105 contains 40 'SADARM' bomblets each with its own radar. Each bomblet leaves a footprint of 150x360 meters.

 

The following Table presents a summary of cluster bombs used in four of the seven military campaigns where the U.S. has employed this weapon---the omitted ones include Laos, Cambodia, Vietnam. What emerges is that in Kosovo, Afghanistan[2], and the recent Iraq campaign, similar amounts of the deadly cluster bombs were dropped, leaving about 30-35'000 unexploded bomblets in the fields and neighborhoods of those three countries, as deadly legacies.

 


Table .  Air-delivered* Cluster Munitions in Recent Anglo-American Military Campaigns

 

Campaign

Weapon

Bomblets per bomb

Cluster Bombs dropped

Bomblets delivered

Dud rate range

UXO bomblets

Gulf War, 1991

CBU-87

202

61-80'000

24-30 mn

5-8%

1.2-1.5 mn

 

CBU-89

99

 

 

 

 

 

Rockeye Mark 20

247

 

 

 

 

NATO/Kosovo, 1998

RBL-755

147

~1'700

290'000

8-12%

~35'000

 

CBU-87

202

 

 

 

 

 

CBU-97

10

 

 

 

 

Afghanistan 2001-2

CBU-87

202

1'210

244'000

10-22% [est. 12%]

~30'000

 

CBU-103

202

 

 

 

 

 

CBU-89 ?

99

 

 

 

 

 

CBU-99 Mark 20

247

 

 

 

 

 

AGM-154

145

 

 

 

 

IRAQ II, 2003

CBU-87

202

1'461

270'411

10-15% [est. 12%]

32'500

 

CBU-99

247

 

 

 

 

 

CBU-103

202

 

 

 

 

 

CBU-105

40

 

 

 

 

 

CBU-107

**

 

 

 

 

 

AGM-154

145

 

 

 

 

 

 

Note: the first row for each campaign contains the cumulative totals for all cluster munitions.

 

*on its ground-launched cluster munitions, as for example : the Multiple-Land-Rocket System [MRLS] which contains 12 M26 missiles [each carrying 644 cluster bomblets]; the Army Tactical Missile System [ATACMS] with a surface-to-surface missile carrying 950 bomblets; the British L20 artillery shell [containing 49 bomblets], etc.

**the CBU-107 first used in Iraq in 2003, emits a high-speed volley of more than 3'000 metal arrows, projected from a single cannister. Two were used in Iraq.

 

Sources: available upon request from the author



[1] Peter Walker, "Cluster Bombs Too Effective for Military To Do Without: Expert," Agence France-Presse [April 3, 2003]

[2] for details on cluster bombs in Afghanistan, see my "Above the Law and Below Morality: Data on 11 Weeks of U.S. Cluster Bombing of Afghanistan," at : http://www.cursor.org/stories/abovethelaw.htm