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Biden Grants Ukraine Banned 'Cluster Bombs' – Defies US Law and International Human Rights Treaty

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President Joe Biden has reportedly promised to supply Ukraine with cluster bombs, drawing rebukes from human rights groups who say using the widely-banned munition will result in civilian deaths.

According to a Thursday report from The Washington Post, the Pentagon will be supplying Ukraine with M864 artillery shells fired from 155mm howitzers, which will be provided by Biden’s latest $800 million military aid package to Ukraine.

Cluster munitions splinter into dozens of smaller submunitions, also known as “bomblets,” to cover a large area.

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However, many are concerned with the faultiness of cluster bombs, which often fail to detonate upon impact and settle into the ground — essentially becoming land mines for unsuspecting civilians. These “duds” can remain active for decades.

Modern cluster munitions being supplied to Ukraine have been designed to produce fewer duds, but may still violate U.S. law.

Should Biden have released these globally banned weapons to Ukraine?

Testing from 2020 showed the Pentagon had managed to keep the dud rate capped at 2.35 percent, according to the Post.

Since 2017, however, Congress has prohibited the “production, use or transfer of cluster munitions with a failure rate of more than 1 percent,” the Post reported.

Cluster bombs have already been banned in more than 100 countries that have joined the Convention on Cluster Munitions, the Daily Mail reported. The United States, Russia and Ukraine have refused to make the same commitment.

Both Russia and Ukraine have reportedly used cluster munitions during their conflict, which has lasted since February 2022.

Russia reportedly deployed cluster bombs at least 16 times last year. According to Human Rights Watch, the bombings struck many populated areas and resulted in dozens of civilians getting killed or wounded.

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Likewise, Ukraine’s use of cluster munitions in Russian-controlled areas has killed at least eight civilians and injured at least 15 others in the last year, HRW found.

In the early days of the conflict, then-White House press secretary Jen Psaki declared the practice “potentially a war crime” during a news media briefing.

Human Rights Watch has urged both sides to halt their use of the munitions and for the U.S. to discontinue its supply of the weapon, according to the Reuters report.

The Cluster Munition Coalition, whose goal is to eradicate the weapon, said in a statement that it is “appalled by the United States’ plans to transfer banned cluster munitions to Ukraine.”

“The Biden administration’s decision to transfer cluster munitions will contribute to the terrible casualties being suffered by Ukrainian civilians both immediately and for years to come,” said Paul Hannon, vice chairman of the coalition’s governance board.

“Russia and Ukraine’s use of cluster munitions is adding to Ukraine’s already massive contamination from explosive remnants and landmines.”

This article appeared originally on The Western Journal.

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