PoliticsThe controversial US decision to send cluster bombs to Ukraine

    The controversial US decision to send cluster bombs to Ukraine

    Madeline Halpert

    BBC World, New York

    The United States will send cluster bombs to Ukraine to help the European country in its counteroffensive against Russia.

    President Joe Biden acknowledged in an interview with CNN that it was a “difficult decision” that he put off for a while, but he was convinced that Ukraine needs them.

    “It has been a very difficult decision on my part. And by the way, I talked about it with our allies, I talked about it with our friends on Capitol Hill,” Biden said. “Ukrainians are running out of ammunition”he added.

    cluster bombs are banned in more than 100 countriesfor being a class of weapons that contain multiple explosive bombs called submunitions.

    US authorities have been reluctant to supply cluster bombs to Ukraine as they can kill indiscriminately over a wide area, posing a threat to the civilian population.

    Ukraine has committed to demining efforts post-conflict to mitigate any potential harm to civilians and this will be necessary regardless of whether the United States provides these munitions or not, due to Russia’s widespread use of cluster bombs,” National Security Adviser Jake said Friday. Sullivan.

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    “Ukraine would not use these bombs on foreign territory. It is their country that they are defending,” she added.

    Sullivan explained that Ukraine was running out of artillery and needed “a supply bridge” while the United States ramps up domestic production.

    We will not leave Ukraine defenseless at any time during this conflict,” he said.

    These ammunitions are controversial due to their high failure rate.which means unexploded bombs can sit in the ground for years and detonate later.

    Sullivan told reporters that US cluster bombs had a failure rate of less than 2.5%, which he described as well below the failure rate of Russian ones, which is between 30% and 40%.

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    US law prohibits the transfer of cluster bombs with failure rates greater than 1% – meaning more than 1% fail to explode – but President Joe Biden can bypass this rule.

    The Pentagon noted that Russia has already used cluster bombs in Ukraine with even higher failure rates. A United Nations investigation found that Ukraine has likely used them as well, though the country has denied this.

    The latest Biden administration arms shipment to Ukraine is worth $800 million. Includes Bradley and Stryker fighting vehicles, anti-aircraft defense missiles and anti-mine equipment.

    Human rights groups have urged Russia and Ukraine not to use cluster bombs and they have asked the United States not to supply them.

    In a statement on Friday, the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights again called on countries not to use cluster bombs, arguing that they were dangerous.

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    “Cluster bombs spread small bombs over a wide area, many of which do not explode immediately,” said office spokeswoman Marta Hurtado. “They can kill and maim years later. That is why its use must cease.”

    Some US lawmakers have also asked the Biden government not to send the weapons, because its humanitarian costs outweigh its benefits on the battlefield.

    Defense Department official Laura Cooper told Congress last month that military analysts had found that cluster bombs would be “useful, especially against entrenched Russian positions.”

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    Source: La Opinion

    This post is posted by Awutar staff members. Awutar is a global multimedia website. Our Email: [email protected]


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