Concerns increase that the United States may ship cluster bombs to Ukraine.

Concerns increase that the United States may ship cluster bombs to Ukraine.

The decision by the United States to equip Ukraine with cluster bombs has caused concern among some of its allies.


President Joe Biden called the decision to provide the controversial weaponry to Ukraine a “very difficult decision” on Friday, as the United States officially acknowledged that it would be doing so.


The United Kingdom, Canada, New Zealand, and Spain all voiced their opposition to using the weapons as a response.


Because of the risk they represent to people, more than 100 nations have outlawed cluster bombs.


They often detonate a slew of tiny bomblets, each of which may cause widespread destruction.


The dud rate, or percentage of failed bombs, has long been a source of debate. Bomblets that haven’t been detonated in a while may remain on the ground for years before going off randomly.


The US is supplying Ukraine with ‘abhorrent’ weaponry, but why?

In an interview on Friday, Vice President Joe Biden said that he had discussed the decision with allies as part of a military assistance package totalling $800 million (£626 million).


It took the president “a while to be convinced to do it,” but he finally acted because “the Ukrainians are running out of ammunition,” he claimed.


Cluster bombs pose “a grave threat to civilian lives, even long after the conflict has ended,” Amnesty International said; therefore, the decision was promptly attacked by human rights organizations.


US National Security Adviser Jake Sullivan told reporters that American cluster bombs deployed to Ukraine had a far lower rate of failure compared to Russian cluster bombs currently in use in the fight.


However, the United States lost the support of several of its Western allies on Saturday because of its decision.


UK Prime Minister Rishi Sunak, when questioned about his country’s stance on the US decision, emphasized that the United Kingdom is one of 123 nations that have joined the Convention on Cluster Munitions, which forbids the development or use of the weapons and opposes their deployment.


His remarks come as President Biden prepares to visit the UK on Sunday ahead of next week’s NATO summit in Lithuania.


“Injury to Non-Participants”

According to statements reported in New Zealand media, Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern went further than Mr Sunak when discussing the need for the convention to be established.


They are “indiscriminate,” “they cause huge damage to innocent people,” and “they can have a long-lasting effect,” as Chris Hipkins put it. He also said that the White House was informed of New Zealand’s stance on the deployment of cluster bombs in Ukraine.


Margarita Robles, Spain’s Minister of Defence, recently informed the media that her nation had made a “firm commitment” to prevent the shipment of specific types of weapons and munitions to Ukraine.


She declared, “No to cluster bombs and yes to the legitimate defence of Ukraine,” recognizing that such defence should not include the use of cluster bombs.


The Canadian authorities expressed special worry over the effects these weapons, which may sit dormant for years, might have on children.


Canada said that it opposed the use of cluster bombs and will continue to adhere to the terms of the Cluster Munitions. “We take seriously our obligation under the convention to encourage its universal adoption,” it stated.


Russia and Ukraine have deployed cluster bombs in the conflict, and the United States has not ratified the agreement banning their use.


Germany, another party to the pact, has declared that although it would not give such weapons to Ukraine, it does appreciate the United States’ stance.


German government spokesperson Steffen Hebestreit told reporters in Berlin, “We’re certain that our US friends didn’t take the decision about supplying such ammunition lightly.”


Ukraine’s military minister has said categorically that cluster bombs would not be dropped on civilian areas but rather utilized to breach enemy defensive lines.


Mr. Biden’s move would get around a US law that prohibits the production, use, and transfer of cluster bombs having an unsuccessful percentage of more than 1%.



Mr Sullivan, one of the United States’ top national security advisors, recently told reporters that the failure rate of American cluster bombs is less than 2.5%, whereas that of Russian bombs is 30% to 40%.


More misery “today and for decades to come,” according to the US Cluster Munition Coalition, which is part of a global civil society movement to ban the weapons.


The United Nations, human rights office is likewise concerned, with a spokesperson stating, “The use of such munitions should stop immediately and not be used in any place.”


Cluster munition usage found across Kharkiv

A Russian defence ministry spokesman called it an “act of desperation” and “evidence of impotence in the face of the failure of the much-publicized Ukrainian counter-offensive.”


Ukraine’s promises that it would deploy the cluster bombs properly were “not worth anything,” according to Maria Zakharova, a spokesman for Russia’s foreign ministry.


President Putin of Russia has already accused the United States and its allies of waging a growing proxy war in Ukraine.


The eastern Donetsk and south-eastern Zaporizhzhia areas have been ground zero for Ukraine’s counter-offensive since last month.


Ukraine’s military leader Valery Zaluzhny acknowledged last week that insufficient weaponry was a problem in the fight. He complained that the West was taking too long to provide the promised armaments.


President Volodymyr Zelensky of Ukraine expressed gratitude to President Trump for providing “a timely, broad, and much-needed” military assistance package.


by Frank Gardner, security journalist, in his line-by-line analysis box

All of America’s NATO partners have been queuing up to disassociate themselves from the decision to ship cluster bombs to Ukraine.


Prime Minister Rishi Sunak made it clear that the United Kingdom is a signatory to the treaty from 2008 that outlaws the development and use of such weapons.


Canada even issued a statement promising to stop the harm caused by cluster bombs to populations, especially children.


Both Spain and Germany have voiced their opposition to the decision to provide these weapons to Ukraine, with Germany saying it does not agree with the move but can see the logic behind it.


Even Russia, which has used cluster bombs extensively against Ukraine, said they were unacceptable because they would leave a legacy of destruction for future generations.


The move was criticized, but former NATO deputy commander in Europe General Sir Richard Shirreff justified it, claiming that the deployment of these troops would make it easier for Ukraine to break through Russian defences.


He said that this weapon would have been unnecessary if the West had supplied more guns earlier.




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