Biden Might Give Ukraine A Banned Cluster Bomb Weapon

( – The Biden administration has agreed to fulfill Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskiy’s request for cluster munitions to be sent to aid the Ukrainian war effort against Russia, despite concerns about civilian welfare raised by human rights groups. The weapons will be included as part of an $800 million military aid package to the Ukraine.

Cluster munitions, also known as cluster bombs, work by opening in the air after they are launched, releasing “bomblets” that spread out over large areas. These submunitions are intended to explode once they hit the ground, but the International Committee of the Red Cross, a strong critic of cluster munitions, have noted that these weapons have a high failure rate, potentially up to 40%. This means if the bombs do not explode upon impact with the ground, they still retain the ability to detonate for years, which puts any civilian that may come across them at high risk, much like land mines.

In 2010, over 120 countries, including many NATO allies, signed the Convention on Cluster Munitions, an agreement to ban the use, production, transfer, and stockpile of cluster weapons. The United States did not sign the agreement but has still condemned other countries for using such weapons. Notably, Russia and the Ukraine also did not sign the 2010 agreement banning their use, nor has China, Israel, or North Korea. Sending the Ukraine such weapons has been considered by the Biden administration for “a long time,” according to chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, Army General Mark Milley.

This decision has been loudly criticized by human rights and arms control groups, including the US Cluster Munition Coalition, who said such weapons cause “devastating harm to civilians, and especially children, years after a conflict ends.” Several groups have pointed out that unexploded bomblets have the capability to explode for decades after being dropped.

Copyright 2023,