Approving the sale of cluster bombs to Saudi Arabia will only support more civilian deaths. These devices are not intended for pin-point accuracy, but rather for large areas of destruction. Though making attempts at removing threats with these type of decisions is justified, remembering civilian lives are the reason for protection in the first place is paramount.
The vote for sending the bombs in Congress was close - 216 to 204. Cluster bombs scatter multiple explosive sub-munitions over a wide area. While of less strength and less damaging, cluster bombs do as much damage as larger bombs. Some cluster bombs fail to explode on impact and remain de facto landmines. The Saudis have used cluster bombs to attack large civilian populations, including children, in Yemen. It is thought that a ban on these bombs would stigmatize these weapons. And that may not be such a bad thing. Some feel that the US should be held accountable for killing innocent people if the Saudis continue to use cluster bombs. Some countries have banned these bombs as they are sneaky and dangerous. Human rights groups have criticized the US for approving cluster bomb sales to Saudi Arabia. If there are stricter guidelines for the sale of cluster bombs, then advocacy groups will ease up somewhat.
Yes, cluster bombs create more civilian damage. From my viewpoint, non-combatant casualties are inevitable in any combat zone, and aerial strikes only increase the number of civilian deaths. As the American population has become reacquainted with the realities of war, it's become apparent that concept of the "surgical strike" is not always an achievable goal, and as the cluster bomb is intended to maximize damage, it also would maximize unintended casualties in a badly-targeted explosion.
Our ally/enemy relationship with Saudi Arabia has now resulted in a major sale of carpet bombs to that oil-rich nation. This is a recipe for disaster: carpet bombs destroy properties and end lives, and we're only fueling the fire by providing a contentious nation with more weaponry to cause that damage.