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Ministry of Defence 'managed' DU debate

The Campaign Against Depleted Uranium (CADU) latest report- Managing acceptability: UK policy on depleted uranium weapons, critically assesses the methods that the UK has used to defend its development and use of DU weapons since the 1960s.
3 October 2012 - Aneaka Kellay


Archive material released under the thirty year rule have revealed that the Ministry of Defence (MoD) have known from the outset that contamination from DU munitions was likely to be problematic and controversial. To get political clearance for the weapons’ development, hazards were downplayed and cabinet discussions managed.

This tactic of managing the debate has continued from the 1960s, in spite of the public outcry over DU’s later use in Iraq during the 1991 and 2003 conflicts, and during the Balkan conflicts over the 1990s. Managing acceptability: UK policy on depleted uranium weapons highlights key questions over the MoD’s transparency and political influence, and its unbalanced approach to civilian protection.   

Campaigners hope that the report will increase scrutiny of the UK’s voting record at the UN, where in recent years it has been one of just four states to actively oppose DU resolutions. The MoD also currently faces a decision over whether to extend the life of its remaining stocks of DU munitions.

The report will be launched on the 25th October 2012 at a public event: Managing Acceptability: The democratic deficit in defence policy and arms control, 7 -9pm, Small Meeting House, Friends Meeting House, Euston, London. Speakers will include Nicolas Mercer, former MoD chief legal advisor, Andrew Feinstein, author of ‘The Shadow World: Inside the global arms trade’ and Aneaka Kellay, CADU campaigner. For more information and to book contact

The report is available for download here.