Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis has declared his opposition to the Biden administration’s plan to provide controversial weapons known as “cluster bombs” to Ukraine.
Despite previously opposing the use of cluster munitions and even calling for cutting off aid to Israel in 1982 for their supposed use of the controversial weapons, President Joe Biden supports his administration’s plan to include cluster bombs in their latest $800 million weapons package to Ukraine.
There has been a lot of reporting on the dangers of cluster munitions, with CBS News writing that out of the 141 casualties from “cluster bomb remnants, 97% were civilians, and two-thirds of those were children.”
BREAKING: I will be the Republican co-sponsor on the NDAA amendment introduced by @RepSaraJacobs to stop the transfer of cluster bombs.
These cluster bombs will not end the war in Ukraine and will not build a more stable country.
Children will be left without limbs and without… pic.twitter.com/xmu8KAWPEt
— Rep. Matt Gaetz (@RepMattGaetz) July 10, 2023
During a conversation on Wednesday with talk show host Howie Carr, DeSantis stated that he would not give cluster bombs to Ukraine out of concern that it would only “escalate this conflict.”
The Florida governor, who recently announced his 2024 presidential campaign, pointed out that the U.S. government is currently providing “an open-ended blank check” in their aid to Ukraine with “no clear objective for victory.
The Russia-Ukraine war “is kind of dragging on and on,” DeSantis noted.
He went on to state that providing cluster bombs “probably runs a risk of escalation,” adding: “Basically, what I said from the beginning is no weapons that could lead to attacks inside Russia or escalating the conflict. We cannot become involved in this directly.”
DeSantis’ comments come one day after former President Donald Trump condemned the Biden administration for choosing to send cluster bombs to Ukraine — as the weapons pose serious risk to civilians even years after being used, as they scatter submunitions that have the potential to lay dormant.
“Joe Biden should not be dragging us further toward World War III by sending cluster munitions to Ukraine — he should be trying to END the war and stop the horrific death and destruction being caused by an incompetent administration,” Trump warned.
NEW: Statement from President Trump opposing Joe Biden's irresponsible and dangerous plan to send cluster munitions to Ukraine. Instead of trying to prolong this war and drag us into World War 3 like Biden is doing, Trump is calling for an immediate peace deal. pic.twitter.com/CUCQ2Tkajp
— Donald Trump Jr. (@DonaldJTrumpJr) July 11, 2023
Democrat presidential candidate Robert F. Kennedy Jr. also condemned the Biden administration’s decision in a Twitter thread.
“In February 2021, President Biden promised us ‘diplomacy is back.’ But now the WH rejects talks to end the war in Ukraine + sends cluster bombs instead. It would be nice to see our president put as much energy into talks as he does into sending weapons,” he wrote.
In February 2021, President Biden promised us “diplomacy is back.” But now the WH rejects talks to end the war in Ukraine + sends cluster bombs instead. It would be nice to see our president put as much energy into talks as he does into sending weapons.https://t.co/crzujfZbZF
— Robert F. Kennedy Jr (@RobertKennedyJr) July 9, 2023