Biden Uses ‘War Crime’ Cluster Bombs

On Friday, the Biden administration made an announcement regarding a new weapons package to Ukraine, which is estimated to be valued at $800 million and is reported to include cluster munitions.

President Biden and his administration have previously expressed strong opposition to cluster bombs, even going as far as declaring last year that the utilization of such controversial munitions would constitute a war crime.

Cluster bombs, also referred to as cluster munitions, are explosive weapons that are deployed from land, air or sea. They disperse numerous smaller submunitions, commonly known as “bomblets,” upon detonation.

Even years after the initial use of cluster bombs, unexploded bomblets remain a significant threat to civilians. According to the International Committee of the Red Cross, up to 40% of cluster munitions fail to detonate, resulting in what is known as the “dud rate.”

This means that a considerable number of bomblets may remain active and pose a risk to individuals long after the cluster bomb was originally deployed.

In an interview with CNN on Friday, President Biden provided a defense for the decision to send cluster bombs to Ukraine.

He said, “They’re trying to get through those trenches and stop those tanks from rolling. But it was not an easy decision. We’re not signatories to that agreement, but it took me a while to be convinced to do it. But the main thing is they either have the weapons to stop the Russians now – keep them from stopping the Ukrainian offensive through these areas – or they don’t. And I think they needed them.”

Mary Wareham, the acting arms director at Human Rights Watch, expressed her concerns, stating, “The U.S. government should not be providing cluster munitions to any country due to the foreseeable and lasting harm to civilians from these weapons. Transferring cluster munitions disregards the substantial danger they pose to civilians and undermines the global effort to ban them.”

Both the U.K. and Spain have voiced their opposition to the shipment of cluster munitions from Biden to Ukraine.

Spanish Defense Minister Margarita Robles emphasized Spain’s unwavering commitment to Ukraine, stating, “Spain, based on the firm commitment it has with Ukraine, also has a firm commitment that certain weapons and bombs cannot be delivered under any circumstances. No, to cluster bombs and yes, to the legitimate defense of Ukraine, which we understand should not be carried out with cluster bombs.”

British Prime Minister Rishi Sunak asserted, “We will persist in our efforts to support Ukraine against Russia’s illegal and unwarranted invasion. Our contribution has primarily involved providing heavy battle tanks and, more recently, long-range weapons. It is my hope that all nations can continue to lend their support to Ukraine.”

Democratic presidential candidate Robert F. Kennedy Jr. strongly criticized Biden for the decision to send cluster bombs to Ukraine.

He expressed his dismay on Twitter, stating, “These munitions scatter bomblets indiscriminately, posing a significant threat even long after the conflict ends. They have caused countless casualties and deaths among innocent civilians, particularly children who may encounter them later.”

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