Skip to comments.Israel Asks U.S. to Ship Rockets With Wide Blast-State Department seeks to delay supply
Posted on 08/11/2006 5:59:02 AM PDT by SJackson
Clip and save] State Department seeks to delay supply of M-26 artillery rockets to Israel
Israel Asks U.S. to Ship Rockets With Wide Blast By DAVID S. CLOUD The New York TImes August 11, 2006 www.nytimes.com/2006/08/11/world/middleeast/11military.html?hp&ex=1155355200 &en=4887d0ebeb1cdf33&ei=5094&partner=homepage WASHINGTON, Aug. 10 - Israel has asked the Bush administration to speed delivery of short-range antipersonnel rockets armed with cluster munitions, which it could use to strike Hezbollah missile sites in Lebanon, two American officials said Thursday.
The request for M-26 artillery rockets, which are fired in barrages and carry hundreds of grenade-like bomblets that scatter and explode over a broad area, is likely to be approved shortly, along with other arms, a senior official said.
But some State Department officials have sought to delay the approval because of concerns over the likelihood of civilian casualties, and the diplomatic repercussions. The rockets, while they would be very effective against hidden missile launchers, officials say, are fired by the dozen and could be expected to cause civilian casualties if used against targets in populated areas.
Israel is asking for the rockets now because it has been unable to suppress Hezbollah's Katyusha rocket attacks in the month-old conflict by using bombs dropped from aircraft and other types of artillery, the officials said. The Katyusha rockets have killed dozens of civilians in Israel.
The United States had approved the sale of M-26's to Israel some time ago, but the weapons had not yet been delivered when the crisis in Lebanon erupted. If the shipment is approved, Israel may be told that it must be especially careful about firing the rockets into populated areas, the senior official said.
Israel has long told American officials that it wanted M-26 rockets for use against conventional armies in case Israel was invaded, one of the American officials said. But after being pressed in recent days on what they intended to use the weapons for, Israeli officials disclosed that they planned to use them against rocket sites in Lebanon. It was this prospect that raised the intense concerns over civilian casualties.
During much of the 1980's, the United States maintained a moratorium on selling cluster munitions to Israel, following disclosures that civilians in Lebanon had been killed with the weapons during the 1982 Israeli invasion. But the moratorium was lifted late in the Reagan administration, and since then, the United States has sold Israel some types of cluster munitions, the senior official said.
Officials would discuss the issue only on the condition of anonymity, as the debate over what to do is not resolved and is freighted with implications for the difficult diplomacy that is under way.
State Department officials "are discussing whether or not there needs to be a block on this sale because of the past history and because of the current circumstances," said the senior official, adding that it was likely that Israel will get the rockets, but will be told to be "be careful."
David Siegel, a spokesman for the Israeli Embassy in Washington, declined to comment on Israel's request. He said, though, that "as a rule, we obviously don't fire into populated areas, with the exception of the use of precision-guided munitions against terrorist targets." In such cases, Israel has dropped leaflets warning of impending attacks to avoid civilian casualties, he said.
In the case of cluster munitions, including the Multiple Launch Rocket System, which fires the M-26, the Israeli military only fires into open terrain where rocket launchers or other military targets are found, to avoid killing civilians, an Israeli official said.
The debate over whether to ship Israel the missiles, which include the cluster munitions and use launchers that Israel has already received, comes as the Bush administration has been trying to win support for a draft United Nations resolution that calls for immediate cessation of "all attacks" by Hezbollah and of "offensive military operations" by Israel.
Arab governments, under pressure to halt the rising number of civilian casualties in Lebanon, have criticized the measure for not calling for a withdrawal of Israeli troops from southern Lebanon.
While Bush administration officials have criticized Israeli strikes that have caused civilian casualties, they have also backed the offensive against Hezbollah by rushing arms shipments to the region. Last month the administration approved a shipment of precision-guided munitions, which one senior official said this week included at least 25 of the 5,000-pound "bunker-buster" bombs.
Israel has recently asked for another shipment of precision-guided munitions, which is likely to be approved, the senior official said.
Last month, the advocacy group Human Rights Watch said its researchers had uncovered evidence that Israel had fired cluster munitions on July 19 at the Lebanese village of Bilda, which the group said had killed one civilian and wounded at least 12 others, including 7 children. The group said it had interviewed survivors of the attack, who described incoming artillery shells dispensing hundreds of cluster submunitions on the village.
Human Rights Watch also released photographs, taken recently by its researchers in northern Israel, of what it said were American-supplied artillery shells that had markings showing they carried cluster munitions.
Mr. Siegel, the Israeli Embassy spokesman, denied that cluster munitions had been used on the village.
The United States Army also employs the M-26 rocket and the Multiple Launch Rocket System in combat, and the Pentagon has sold the weapon to numerous other allies, in addition to Israel. The system is especially effective at attacking enemy artillery sites, military experts say, because the rockets can be quickly targeted against a defined geographic area. Each rocket contains 644 submunitions that kill enemy soldiers operating artillery in the area.
But Human Rights Watch and other groups have campaigned for the elimination of cluster munitions, noting that even if civilians are not present when the weapons is used, some submunitions that do not detonate on impact can later injure or kill civilians.
The M-26 "is a particularly deadly weapon," Bonnie Docherty, a researcher with Human Rights Watch, who helped write a study of the United States' use of the weapons in the 2003 Iraq invasion. "They were used widely by U.S. forces in Iraq and caused hundreds of civilian casualties."
After the Reagan administration determined in 1982 that the cluster munitions had been used by Israel against civilian areas, the delivery of the artillery shells containing the munitions to Israel was suspended.
Israel was found to have violated a 1976 agreement with the United States in which it had agreed only to use cluster munitions against Arab armies and against clearly defined military targets. The moratorium on selling Israel cluster weapons was later lifted by the Reagan administration.
This week, State Department officials were studying records of what happened in 1982 as part of their internal deliberations into whether to grant approval for the sale to go forward.
they need to use these cluster f**k bombs to do damage.
send them lots of them....
I want MOABS!
This is Israel's last chance for clusters. It's clusters last stand.
Bush should tell state department personel--"send them now or send me your resignation now".
Why would he do that? The U.S. (i.e., the Bush administration) doesn't want to send these munitions to Israel.
I think these munitions would be highly effective. It's a sick world when a country can't defend itself because some folks want a more "sensitive war".
I swear to The Almighty... If I were elected President the first thing I would do is go over to Foggy Bottom with an industrial-sized broom and sweep the building out of every career Stater in there!
We should give them a full menu, take thier order with a smile , and give them anything they want from our arsenal, at no charge.
Before we send them all to Israel, we need to drop one on the State Department.
Is there any doubt that Rice is totally incompetent?
The way to win a war is "sudden, resolute, and aggressive action".
This dumbo thinks she can solve the problem with her half-assed diplomacy?
This is a disgrace.
Fire her worthless ass and bring back George Marshall. He'd so better dead that she can alive.
We should also deliver them and install them on whatever roofs and such that israel specifies.
"It's clusters last stand."
Any redlegs out there? Correct me if I'm wrong, but I believe single MLRS rounds be fired at a specific target.
The first MLRS rocket was the unguided M26 rocket. The M26 is spin-stabilized by 4 fins, has a range of 32 km (20 miles) and is armed with 644 M77 DPICM (Dual-Purpose Improved Conventional Munitions) anti-personnel/anti-materiel grenades. The M77 submunitions are dispensed over the target in mid-air, are drag-ribbon stabilized during free fall, and detonate on impact. The MLRS/M26 was first used operationally during Operation Desert Storm in 1991, where it acquired the nickname "steel rain".
True -- and send along the personnel to use them.
The State Department needs a good ol' fashioned Stalin-type purge.
From what I've read, Hezbollah is dug into a system of bunkers and tunnels, which means these cluster rockets would be ineffective against them. So I'm inclined to doubt this story. Israel needs bunker-buster bombs instead to collapse and destroy the bunkers and tunnels.
I certainly hope so, because I have serious doubts that anybody really wants to win these wars. Take the damned gloves off and let them unleash a hell on these turds! No country should have to live in fear day after day for one year, let alone 20 or 30. This insanity of acceptance has just got to stop!
Sorry, I'm seeing a lot of talk about Israeli surrenders and UN cease-fires and Olmert uncertain of his next step. Forward dammit!
Don't worry about Israel. I wouldn't take the current cease-fire negotiations at face value.
This is another example of a story where the New York Times is so far to the left on an issue that they think their story is going to hurt Bush, but the story actually ends up helping Bush. The NY Times thought the NSA wirtetapping story would hurt Bush, but most Americans want the NSA to use all available tools to prevent terrorist attacks. This is another example of this amusing phenomenon, where the Times thinks America will be disgusted by the use of cluster-bomb rockets, but instead most people will in fact support their use against Hezbollah.
From your lips to God's ear. The State Department needs cleaning ASAP.
Our own domestic politics are going to continue to make the US an unreliable source for these weapons, and Israel needs to have such weapons in their arsenal.
They should use such weapons cautiously, but the Israelis have demonstrated an amazing level of restraint and have limited civilian casualties to an amazingly small number for this size of conflict.
I believe that we should sell them these munitions, but I also don't think that Israel can afford to rely on us for these types of weapons.
Israel Asks U.S. to Ship Rockets With Wide Blast (Cluster bombs)
New York Times | August 11, 2006 | DAVID S. CLOUD
Posted on 08/11/2006 3:53:25 AM EDT by tlb
It is a mistake to assume that our State Department is on our side. The objection to cluster munitions isn't on the basis of immediate civilian casualties, but is a nod to the international campaign against landmines. Bomblets that do not go off are a very dangerous residue of war.
Unfortunately this sort of restraint sounds much better in the drawing room than it does in the field. This particular munition is most effective against dispersed infantry and soft-skinned vehicles, and that is precisely what the IDF is facing. And there isn't really a problem with civilians returning to the area if there isn't anything to return to and it's cordoned off. That is a cruel thing for those civilians whose homes are lost in that way. It is equally cruel for those Israeli civilians who are in the same condition.
Condi Rice strikes again...
Cease fire!!! (so Hizbollah can rearm)
No ammo for Israel, either!!! (can't have Israel killing any of those lovely Hizbollah member, now can we)
And of course, here at the Free Republic...
...Condi Rice for President!!!
She'd be 'great' in the war on terror... oh yes, she'd be GREAT!
(Yeah, great for the fricking terrorists.)
Should we send them Yao Ming?
Napalm would be extremely effective in the enclosed spaces of a tunnel network.
Israel already builds & even exports cluster munitions built by IMI.But the problem mayb that IMI may have little ready stock & purchase of indegnious stuff is not covered under US military aid.
The State Department, as usual, is supporting the enemy...
"I want MOABS!"
Why? What do you think they do or would do? How would Israel deliver them? Why would they want to put aircrews at risk delivering them?
We sell them, but I guess we do not deliver them... Once again the US State Department screws Israel at a crucial time. It is like a broken record.
Human rights groups are complicit in murder, says Trimble
Guardian ^ | 01/29/04 | Giles Tremlett
Broom, schmoom. Here's a far better idea from Edward Luttvak, a rather well-known military strategist, circa 1981:
1. Order the Army Corps of Engineers to tunnel from under the Pentagon to underneath the State Dept.
2. When completed, the engineers are make a very large cave at that spot.
3. Once completed, the engineers are to fill the cave with as much in the way of high explosives as possible, and to then plug the hole.
4. After that, the explosives are to be detonated, thereby immeasurably improving the effectiveness of US foreign policy.
To be fair to Luttwak, he clearly said this in jest...I think. Oh, and he was by far my favorite prof at Georgetown.
You got it. Purge them all with a smile like you’re a democrat in power. Talk about “bad wood”.
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