Washington, D.C. – House Armed Services Committee Ranking Member Adam Smith (D-WA) released the following statement about the Trump administration’s decision to reverse its policy and eliminate the deadline for U.S. forces to stop using cluster munitions that do not comply with the standards set forth in the Convention on Cluster Munitions:

“I am deeply troubled by this change in the Department of Defense’s policy regarding cluster munitions. There is no justifiable reason for the Trump administration to keep these failure-prone weapons in service. There must be a hard deadline for the United States to prohibit the use of weapons that would violate the standards set forth in the Convention on Cluster Munitions. Following those standards could greatly reduce the threat to civilian lives and protect our own service members, who can be endangered by our own unexploded cluster munitions on the battlefield. The Trump administration’s change of policy will likely mean that cluster munitions with dangerously high dud rates would be in the U.S. military’s inventory for decades. It also makes them far more likely to be used by the United States. I believe that a deadline for eliminating these weapons, combined with an accelerated plan to replace them, is a better way forward for the United States.”