U.S. Cluster Bomb Maker Gets Stock Upgrade As Saudi Levels Yemen
“The stock of one of the United States’ few cluster bomb producers was upgraded this week from ‘neutral’ to ‘buy’ by a Citigroup analyst, in part because of continuing instability in the Middle East. Textron, a Massachusetts-based contractor that makes helicopters and jets as well as cluster bombs, has sold the controversial weapons to the U.S. government and allies like Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates. A report in May from Human Rights Watch found that Saudi Arabia has deployed Textron-made cluster bombs in its five-month-long military campaign against Houthi rebels in Yemen, though it was not clear how many civilian casualties they directly caused, if any.
Cluster bombs are a type of weapon that can be launched either from the air or ground and unleash ‘bomblets’ that are released in mid-air. If they do not explode immediately on impact they lie dormant on land, acting essentially as land mines. In 2013, Textron won a $641 million contract to provide Saudi Arabia with 1,300 cluster bombs.”