The U.S. is sending cluster bombs to Ukraine despite humanitarian warnings

The United States is supplying Ukraine with cluster munitions to aid in its defense against Russia, despite human rights warnings about potential civilian harm.

Breaking the news: Undersecretary of Defense for Policy, Colin Kahl, announced a new round of $800 million in defense aid to Ukraine, including controversial cluster bombs.
* President Biden called the decision to send cluster bombs to Ukraine “very difficult”, indicating it was taken after discussions with allies and US lawmakers.
* Jake Sullivan, Biden’s national security adviser, justified the decision asserting the need to not leave Ukraine defenseless at this point in the conflict.

Humanitarian concerns: Human rights groups have raised concerns about these weapons, as they release multiple bomblets over a wide area, posing a deadly risk during and after conflicts.
* More than 100 countries have banned such munitions due to the risk of unexploded bomblets caused injuries or death to civilians.
* Sera Koulabdara of the US Campaign to Ban Landmines and Cluster Munition Coalition described the weapons as “horrific” and warned that they can continue to affect civilian lives for decades.

National security matters: Official US stance is that Ukraine has provided written assurances to minimize civilian casualties with the use of controversial munitions.
* Sullivan stated the US had held off on sending the munitions while it assessed risks to civilians and consulted with allies.
* He also noted that Russia has been using similar munitions, implying post-conflict demining would be necessary regardless.

View original article on NPR

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