Military matters

Two military related posts for you today…
• 160 troops of the 97th Infantry Battalion arrived in Chad this morning to begin their peacekeeping mission which brings to 390 the number of Irish personnel now in Chad with a further 150 to be deployed within the next two weeks.

• Something interesting and indeed historic is happening in Croker today … today is the start of a major international conference where delegates from up to 100 countries will be attempting to agree on a treaty banning the production and use of cluster bombs.
Ireland is actually one of a small group of nations leading the campaign to ban the use of these weapons. Negotiations started about a year ago in Norway and should the treaty be agreed in the coming 12 days of discussions a formal signing ceremony will take place back in Norway in December.
The three (of around 34) main producers of these weapons; the US, China & Russia, are obviously against the ban and are not attending. Not that it matters as agreement on a treaty would put serious pressure on these nations who would more than likely adhere to the ban even if they don’t officially sign up for it.
Why the ban on cluster bombs you ask? Because cluster bombs blanket a battle field by scattering up to (depending on the bomb) 2000 bomblets across a kill zone. Many of these bomblets fail to detonate essentially acting like a landmine; exploding only when disturbed usually by civilians weeks, months or years later.
Interesting to see how it turns out…

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