(UnitedVoice.com) – In March 2022, at the beginning of the war, Russia allegedly used cluster bombs on Ukraine. Linda Thomas-Greenfield, the US ambassador to the United Nations, told the General Assembly that the weapons had “no place on the battlefield.” A year and a half later, the US seems to have reversed that position, leaving one Democratic lawmaker “alarmed.”
On July 7, President Joe Biden sat down for an interview with CNN’s Fareed Zakaria. During the discussion, the POTUS admitted that he made the “very difficult decision” to send cluster bombs to Ukraine. He said the decision was based on the fact that 155mm munition is running low and the cluster bombs are compatible with the 155mm howitzers.
— Kaitlan Collins (@kaitlancollins) July 7, 2023
Officials have become increasingly concerned about the low munitions. America has sent countless rounds of its own ammunition to Ukraine to help in the battle against Russia.
Rep. Barbara Lee (D-CA), who is running for Senate, reacted to the news in a tweet, saying she was “alarmed” to hear the president was thinking about sending the bombs to Ukraine. In a follow-up tweet, she explained that cluster bombs work by scattering “bomblets over a wide area,” and because some of them don’t explode, they can “remain a threat to civilians for decades.”
I am alarmed to hear @POTUS is considering sending cluster bombs to Ukraine.
Many people are unaware of these dangerous weapons. (🧵👇🏾) https://t.co/49rXLc0NeQ
— Rep. Barbara Lee (@RepBarbaraLee) July 6, 2023
Jake Sullivan, the US national security adviser, has confirmed the administration is sending cluster bombs. However, he says they have a reduced “dud rate,” meaning fewer bomblets fail to explode. The Associated Press reported Sullivan said the admin recognizes the weapons pose a risk to civilians, which is why they “deferred the decision for as long as [they] could.”
The US has not used cluster ammunition since 2009 during an attack in Yemen. Prior to that, they hadn’t used them since the Iraq war began in 2003. The Pentagon has also not exported any of them since 2015. American military contractors do not produce the bombs anymore.
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