Biden Mulling Transfer Of Internationally Banned Cluster Bombs To Ukraine
This is not The Onion, but CNN, which produced a whole report in effect arguing that internationally banned weapons are OK if given to Ukraine for the ‘good cause’ of fighting Russia…
“Ukrainian officials and lawmakers have in recent months urged the Biden administration and members of Congress to provide the Ukrainian military with cluster munition warheads, weapons that are banned by more than 100 countries but that Russia continues to use to devastating effect inside Ukraine.”
BUT, the mainstream outlet writes, “For Ukraine, cluster munitions could address two major issues: the need for more ammunition for the artillery and rocket systems the US and others have provided, and a way of closing Russia’s numerical superiority in artillery.”
And never mind those pesky ‘statutory restrictions’ and the greater likelihood of killing innocent civilians…
CNN continues: “The Biden administration has not taken the option off the table as a last resort, if stockpiles begin to run dangerously low. But sources say the proposal has not yet received significant consideration in large part due to the statutory restrictions that Congress has put on the US’ ability to transfer cluster munitions.”
“Those restrictions apply to munitions with a greater than one percent unexploded ordnance rate, which raises the prospect that they will pose a risk to civilians,” the publication then admits, before noting:
“President Joe Biden could override that restriction, but the administration has indicated to the Ukrainians that that is unlikely in the near term.”
CNN’s sources further underscored that at this point President Biden has not rejected the potential transfer of cluster munitions outright. All “options” continue to be on the table… international bans and human rights guidelines be damned, apparently.
Very early following the Feb.24 Russian invasion, Russia’s military stood accused of using banned cluster bombs, for which it received international condemnation – including from US officials and media.
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According to a historical review of cluster bombs in We Are the Mighty, cluster munitions kill indiscriminately, and their widespread use in multiple 20th and early 21st century conflicts eventually led to an international treaty banning their use by nation-states…
“Cluster munitions are explosives that detonate in the air, dispersing bomblets or submunitions across a vast area to destroy several targets simultaneously. These were commonly used before a 2008 treaty forbidding the use of cluster bombs was formulated. Thousands of civilian lives have been lost due to the bomb’s nature. Despite many countries resisting the treaty back then, the majority had their say, and the use of these bombs is now illegal.”
In March, numerous reports showed Russia’s use of cluster bombs in Ukraine, sparking outrage.
A new NYT report says Ukraine used cluster bombs on one of its own villages, prompting denunciations from human rights groups:https://t.co/TvJz7ctYi7
— Glenn Greenwald (@ggreenwald) April 18, 2022
“When the Treaty on Cluster Munitions came into effect, it marked a huge step forward in safeguarding civilians during and after a military confrontation. The international agreement outlaws cluster munitions completely and mandate member states to clean up regions polluted by cluster munition remains within 10 years (after the convention), dismantle their stockpiles in eight years, and aid sufferers.”
“…Bomblets from a cluster munition can strike anywhere and anyone. This makes cluster bombs especially dangerous dealing with innocent lives. Only the main warhead will detonate on the specified targets when a cluster bomb is launched from an airplane. The bomblets, which automatically separate themselves from the main bomb, can land anywhere.”