Science and Engineering Ethics 16 (1):135-145 (2010)

Thomas Cavanaugh
University of San Francisco
This paper argues that the current stock of anti-personnel cluster bombs are temporally indiscriminate, and, therefore, unjust weapons. The paper introduces and explains the idea of temporal indiscriminateness. It argues that to honor non-combatant immunity—in addition to not targeting civilians—one must adequately target combatants. Due to their high dud rate, cluster submunitions fail to target combatants with sufficient temporal accuracy, and, thereby, result in avoidable serious harm to non-combatants. The paper concludes that non-combatant immunity and the principle of discrimination require a moratorium on the use of current cluster munitions.
Keywords Cluster bombs  Double-effect reasoning  Indiscriminate weapons   ius in bello  Non-combatant immunity  Principle of discrimination  Temporal indiscriminateness
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DOI 10.1007/s11948-009-9152-3
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