So desperate is President Joe Biden to expand the U.S./NATO war against Russia being carried out in Ukraine, that on July 7 he announced plans to send in $800 million worth of cluster bombs. Over 120 countries, including many U.S. allies, have signed agreements to prohibit the production or use of cluster munitions.
Cluster munitions destroy multiple targets at once by releasing explosive “bomblets” over considerable distances from where the primary bomb deployed. Cluster bombs are controversial because of their documented failure — dud rate — of unexploded bomblets, which linger on the ground for decades, indiscriminately detonating when stepped on. Civilians, particularly children, have been the primary victims.
Early in the war, the Biden administration alleged that Russia was using cluster bombs and claimed this would be a “war crime” if true. Now Biden is trying to counter critics by claiming that U.S. cluster bombs, with an alleged dud rate of 2.5%, have a lower dud rate than Russia’s bombs. Biden is ignoring U.S. laws prohibiting the production, use or transfer of cluster munitions with a dud rate greater than 1%.
However, the New York Times reported that “The Pentagon’s statements indicate that the cluster munitions that will be sent to Ukraine contain older grenades known to have a failure rate of 14% or more.” (July 9) By his own admission, Biden should be the one charged with war crimes.
The U.S. and Israel top the list of countries using cluster bombs with the most deadly impact on civilian populations. The U.S. set records for using cluster bombs in Vietnam, Cambodia, Afghanistan and Iraq.
At the height of the Vietnam War, the U.S. dropped 80 million cluster bombs in neighboring Laos. According to Al Jazeera, 50 years later lives continue to be lost as a result. (Nov. 21, 2018)
In 2006, Israel rained 4 million cluster bombs on southern Lebanon, targeting Palestinians living in exile and Lebanese militants.
Are nuclear weapons next?
CNN reported that cluster munitions are compatible with the U.S.-provided 155mm howitzers — the key piece of artillery used by Ukrainian forces. (June 7)
Biden claims the U.S. needs to send these weapons known for killing and maiming civilians, because “the Ukrainians are running out of ammunition.” From February 2022 through early May 2023, the U.S. sent Ukraine aid valued at $76.8 billion, mostly in military weapons. There is not much the U.S. hasn’t sent to Ukraine when it comes to military supplies and support — anything to expand the war against Russia.
The Biden administration has provided or agreed to provide Ukraine with Abrams battle tanks, anti-aircraft missiles, coastal defense ships, advanced surveillance, radar systems and more, according to a long list provided by the U.S. Department of Defense, published by the Council on Foreign Relations. (May 19)
On June 13, the Wall Street Journal reported the U.S. will be sending depleted uranium munitions to Ukraine, despite ample evidence of the devastating impact of DU on military and civilian populations.
In their drive to win this war against Russia at any cost, members of the Biden administration have even suggested the use of “limited” nuclear weapons in Ukraine, even making ungrounded claims that Russia will do this first.
Compared to other countries receiving U.S. military aid in recent years, the scale of this aid to Ukraine is extraordinary, yet Ukraine continues to lose ground militarily. The Kiev regime keeps demanding more advanced equipment, including fighter aircraft, which would escalate the war and pull NATO allies more directly into combat.
Biden’s national security adviser Jake Sullivan says that the cluster munitions are a “bridge of supplies” while the U.S. works to increase production of other types of artillery to send to Ukraine. But the U.S. has thrown nearly every type of weapon in its arsenal into Ukraine with no significant gain, just more massive destruction, and mounting death tolls for soldiers and civilians.
Biden’s decision was announced ahead of a NATO summit in Lithuania July 11-12, where it is anticipated that Ukraine’s President Volodymyr Zelensky will push for membership in NATO, thus opening the door to direct NATO intervention and escalation of the war.
Since the U.S. war in Korea ended in a 70-year stalemate in 1953, the U.S. has failed to “win” a single war it has engaged in from Vietnam to Afghanistan, despite the massive loss of lives and damage to infrastructures. Ukrainian workers need to know that they have nothing to gain from this war. Intervention by the U.S. in any war has always been about maximizing the blood-soaked profits for the weapons manufacturers and expanding U.S. imperialism’s empire.