Concerns about supplying Ukraine with cluster munitions exist inside the Biden administration

Date:

Concerns about supplying Ukraine with cluster munitions exist

  • news by AUN News correspondent
  • Friday, December 09, 2022
  • AUN News – ISSN: 2949-8090

Summary:

  • Because of the danger to people, Congress has placed legal constraints on Washington’s distribution of cluster munitions.

  • In this case, the US does not agree that Ukraine will need the dual-purpose enhanced conventional munitions it asks for on the battlefield.

  • Human rights groups have shown that Russia used cluster bombs against civilians in Syria and Ukraine.

  • Anti-personnel land mines are now illegal in most of the world.

  • The Pentagon unveiled a new $275 million package of military aid to Ukraine on Friday.

Cluster munitions are explosive devices that send out a lot of small bombs over a large area. They were first used in World War II. Even though their original purpose was to destroy several military targets over a wide area, they posed a severe risk to civilians both during and after an operation.

The United States is not a part of the international ban, the 2010 Convention on Cluster Munitions, even though the request is “difficult from a public relations point of view.” This is because unexploded munitions left on the battlefield pose a risk to civilians.

Because of the danger to people, Congress has placed legal constraints on Washington’s distribution of cluster munitions. The president or the secretary of state can waive these rules, but only under strict conditions.

In this case, the US doesn’t agree that Ukraine needs the dual-purpose enhanced conventional munitions it wants for the battlefield. According to CNN, which broke the news, Ukraine wants weapons fired from 155mm howitzers and High Mobility Artillery Rocket Systems.

Human rights groups have shown that Russia used cluster bombs against civilians in Syria and Ukraine. Moscow has put the weapons in place, including in Kharkiv. The 300mm Smerch cluster rockets can hurl 72 missiles as far as 90 kilometers.

According to POLITICO, the United States has pledged $89 million to help Kyiv clear the Russian land mines that now cover vast areas of the nation, so it would be unwise to give Kyiv cluster munitions.

Officials said the money would help 100 demining teams in Ukraine over the following year. This would help find the most dangerous areas and train and equip Ukrainian forces who would be in charge of getting rid of the explosives.

Kyiv says that land mines and other unexploded bombs are in an area about the same size as Virginia, Maryland, and Connecticut, or 160,000 square kilometers.

Anti-personnel land mines are now illegal in most of the world. This is because President Joe Biden undid what President Trump did to make them more widely used. But the Pentagon is giving Ukraine Claymore anti-personnel munitions, which, in a particular configuration, fall under the Ottawa Treaty’s definition of land mines.

A State Department official said that the claymore weapons sent to Ukraine are no longer considered land mines because they are made so that a “human in the loop” can set them off instead of a tripwire.

The Pentagon unveiled a new $275 million package of military aid to Ukraine on Friday. It includes better air defense capabilities. Although officials declined to say which systems were being delivered, they did say that they would be used to counter drones and missiles launched from Russia.

The Department of Defense says the package also has extra HIMARS ammunition, 80,000 155mm artillery rounds, 150 generators, medical supplies, Humvee ambulances, and field equipment.

Since the start of the Biden administration, the United States has provided Ukraine with about $20 billion in security aid, including more than $19.3 billion since the invasion.

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