U.S.A Sending Cluster Munitions to Ukraine

U.S.A Sending Cluster Munitions to Ukraine

U.S.A Sending Cluster Munitions to Ukraine

The Pentagon has announced that a new military aid package of $800 million is to be given to Ukraine. This package includes the cluster munitions also, which are banned by more than 100 countries referring to their harmful humanitarian effects. 

Earlier, the President of the United States Joe Biden said that it was a difficult decision after a ‘unanimous’ recommendation was given to him by the security advisors. He then approved the package of giving cluster munitions to Ukraine. 

Why the cluster munitions are banned?

Cluster munitions scatter numerous tiny explosives when fired with the aid of a rocket or missile. The clusters explode when scattered but there is a proportion of them, called “duds”, which do not explode. These duds can explode later and have the tendency to kill or injure people. 

Therefore, cluster munitions were banned by the majority of states including the UK, France, and Germany. An International Convention, namely the Convention on Cluster Munitions, was held where the use of cluster munitions was outlawed. 

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Why the US is sending them? 

Ukrainian forces are defending against the Russian army in a 1000 km long stretched battlefield. They are running out of artillery shells because both sides are using a tremendous amount of shells. The close European allies would not be able to continue the supply needed by the Ukrainian forces.

Therefore, the Ukrainian forces requested U.S.A’s aid. This matter has been under discussion for the past six months in America. The National Security Advisor, Jake Sullivan, said that they do not intend to leave the Ukrainians defenseless.

According to Amnesty International’s report last month, Russia has been using cluster munitions since the start of the war and it resulted in the killing and injuring of a large number of civilians. Some American investigations say that Ukraine is also most likely using cluster munitions since the start of the war. 

The Russian bombs have a dud rate of 40% with an average of 20% meaning that on average 20% of the part of a single cluster do not explode and become a dud. This is a relatively very high percentage than the one America is sending. American cluster munitions have a dud rate of less than 3%. The Law in the U.S. does not allow the trade of cluster bombs with a dud rate of more than 1%

Pentagon’s decision to give this aid is widely criticized. The Democrats and the patrons of Human Rights are not liking this decision of the Pentagon. Human Rights groups had been urging Russia and Ukraine not to use cluster bombs. 

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