U.S. will provide Ukraine cluster bombs.
On Friday the Biden administration
is anticipated to declare that the U.S. will provide cluster munitions to Ukraine, according to multiple administration and defense officials, a controversial move to boost the country’s military in its fight against entrenched Russian forces.
President Joe Biden signed a presidential waiver on the transfer of the weapons in recent days, two officials said. For More Information…
The dual-purpose improved conventional munitions, or DPICMs, are surface-to-surface warheads that explode and disperse multiple small munitions or bombs over wide areas — bringing more widespread destruction than single rounds. The rounds can be charges that penetrate armored vehicles, or they can shatter or fragment to be more dangerous for people.
Some human rights groups oppose their use because of concerns that unexploded bomblets or duds could explode after battle potentially injuring or killing innocent civilians.
The U.S. has been contacted by Ukraine. for DPICMs since last year, but the idea was met with resistance because of an international treaty that bans the transfer, use and stockpiling of the weapon.
The U.S. signed the deal on Cluster Munitions.
and Russia have not signed. law requires the president to sign a waiver before exporting cluster munitions with more than a 1% dud rate. The DPICMs the U.S. would provide have a dud rate of 1.3% to 2.35%.
The U.S. has a stockpile of roughly 10,000 cluster munitions in Europe that could be shipped to Ukraine almost immediately, the officials said.
Top News Planet reported last week that the Biden administration was leaning toward providing the weapons to Ukraine.
The U.S. Cluster bombs were created during the Cold War and afterwards stored in vast quantities many of which are now reaching the end of their useful lives. Last week, a bipartisan group of members of Congress sent a letter asking the Biden administration to unleash the “untapped, vast arsenal” to Ukraine.
DPICMs can be fired from artillery systems that the U.S. has already provided to Ukraine.
Worldwide, civilians represented 97% of all cluster munition casualties, according to a report in August by the Landmine and Cluster Munition Monitor, a campaign group that works to eradicate their use. Children accounted for 66% of all casualties where the age group was known, the report said.
According to a global nonprofit group called Human Rights Watch both sides have used them throughout the Ukraine War. It is unknown how many people the munitions have killed or how large an area might have been affected, but Ukrainian Prime Minister Denys Shmyhal said in April that more than 67,000 square miles of the country had been blighted by unexploded ordnance.