Maximization of damage. That’s the purpose of the cluster bomb. These weapons, which can be traced back to the First World War, when the Kaiser would not give permission for their use, are still being dropped today. Not only that, but duds, unexploded during their deployment during the Second World War, the Vietnam War and the Gulf War still litter the earth. The cluster bomb is a paradox. A force will drop them to gain the advantage in a war, but will then not be able to move forward into the spaces where they have been dropped, or engage in post-war reconstruction. John Ismay is a graduate of the U.S. Naval Academy and served as the gunnery officer aboard a destroyer in the Pacific before becoming a Navy special operations officer. He is qualified in deep-sea diving and salvage, parachuting and bomb disposal, and completed a number of overseas deployments, including one to northern Iraq during the 2007 surge. Now working at the New York Times Washington Bureau, he joined James to talk about his research into the development of the cluster bomb, its impact and his personal experiences of this lethal weapon.