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US Plans to Send Cluster Munitions to Ukraine Despite Humanitarian Concerns

The Biden administration has reportedly decided to provide Ukraine with cluster munitions in the Pentagon’s next aid package, despite humanitarian concerns and widespread bans of the destructive weapons.

What Are Cluster Munitions? Cluster bombs contain multiple explosive submunitions. These “bomblets” spread indiscriminately and can fail to explode — until they are discovered later by civilians. To reduce the civilian threat, the US is reportedly planning to send munitions with a low “dud rate,” or the rate at which submunitions fail to explode. Over 100 countries — but not Russia, Ukraine, or the U.S. — have signed the Convention on Cluster Munitions, which bans the use, production, and stockpiling of cluster bombs.

For Context: U.S. officials have previously said Russia had used cluster munitions in Ukraine, and Ukraine has said the weapons would help its counteroffensive against entrenched Russian positions. NATO secretary general Jens Stoltenberg said it was up to individual allies whether to give such weapons to Ukraine. 

How the Media Covered It: Several outlets cited anonymous officials confirming the story. Coverage was common across the spectrum, often highlighting cluster munitions as “controversial.” The New York Post (Lean Right bias) stood out by framing the Biden administration as hypocritical because it previously called the use of such “brutal” weapons a “war crime.”

Posted on 07 Jul 2023 16:36 link