An International Treaty to Ban Cluster Munitions: Is There a Strategy for Responsible U.S. Engagement?May 13, 2008
Washington, DC. - April 16, 2008 - "An International Treaty to Ban Cluster Munitions: Is There a Strategy for Responsible U.S. Engagement?" [PDF] discusses policy options for the United States regarding its involvement in the fast-moving international initiative led by Norway—called the "Oslo Process"—to shape a treaty before the end of 2008 that would ban cluster munitions that cause unacceptable harm to civilians. At this late date, there appears to be a surprising lack of awareness within the affected U.S. policy communities on this issue, and consequently, this paper seeks to encourage informed discussions in Washington and elsewhere.
In view of the Connect U.S. Fund vision and mandate, an analysis of a treaty ban on cluster munitions is particularly appropriate, as it bears directly on U.S. engagement in the development of international norms and practices affecting critical peace, security and humanitarian issues. The goal of this paper is to increase awareness of key issues and to promote dialogue among major stakeholders, and therefore enhance the likelihood of constructive U.S. involvement in this issue over time. The consumers of this paper will include both strong advocates for a total ban on cluster munitions, and experts who believe that a total ban is both infeasible and unwise. The paper does not take a position on this issue, but is designed to fairly reflect both sets of perspectives. Finally, the paper does not necessarily reflect the views of any one of the foundation members of the Connect U.S. Fund.
The paper was written by Leonard R. Hawley, a consultant to the Connect U.S. Fund, and Eric P. Schwartz, the Fund's Executive Director. Mr. Hawley is a retired U.S. Army colonel and expert on post-conflict peace operations, served as Deputy Assistant Secretary of State for International Organizational Affairs and NSC Director of Multilateral Affairs. Mr. Schwartz, who was United Nations Deputy Special Envoy for Tsunami Recovery until early 2007, also served as Senior Director and Special Assistant to the President for Multilateral and Humanitarian Affairs at the NSC, as a senior official in the Office of the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights in Geneva, and as Washington Director of Asia Watch (now Human Rights Watch Asia). Francesco Femia, Program Associate at the Connect U.S. Fund, provided valuable editing and research assistance.