Skip to main content
Temporal Indiscriminateness: The Case of Cluster Bombs
  • Thomas A. Cavanaugh, University of San Francisco
Document Type
Publication Date
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.

Post-print. Article published in Science and Engineering Ethics, (2010) 16:135-145

DOI: 10.1007/s11948-009-9152-3

The original publication is available at

Citation Information
Thomas A. Cavanaugh. "Temporal Indiscriminateness: The Case of Cluster Bombs" (2010)
Available at: