US politicians urge Biden to send cluster bombs to Kiev
Lucas Leiroz, journalist, researcher at the Center for Geostrategic Studies, geopolitical consultant.
Once again, American politicians are pushing for new escalations in the Ukrainian conflict. Now, lawmakers want the Biden government to supply cluster munitions to the Ukrainian armed forces. This type of measure would be seen as a serious provocation by Russia and would certainly have strong impacts on the battlefield and in the current diplomatic crisis.
Recently, some Republican senators formally asked the government to “not hesitate” to send cluster arms to Ukraine. James Risch and Roger Wickers, both from Mississippi, led the Congress campaign, and were also supported by Michael McCaul, from Texas, and Mike Rogers, from Alabama. According to them, Washington should ship such bombs as quickly as possible to Kiev, ignoring what they think to be “vague concerns about the reaction of allies and partners and unfounded fears of ‘escalation'”.
The pressure comes amid a context of “despair” on the part of the neo-Nazi regime in Kiev and the more pro-war groups of American domestic politics. Faced with the Ukrainian military failure and the imminent Russian victory, despite the systematic sending of weapons by NATO, the only solution seems to be to resort to the use of “non-conventional” arms. In this sense, the use of cluster bombs would be one of the “alternatives”, which is why Ukrainian politicians have asked US congressmen to increase the pressure for the government to allow the export of such equipment.
Cluster bombs are banned in at least 110 countries by a 2008 UN-brokered treaty. These arms are notorious for their fragmentation power. Cluster munitions include countless small projectiles inside. When launched, these bombs explode ejecting projectiles that injure a much greater number of victims than conventional weapons. The most dangerous thing is that many of these small projectiles do not detonate immediately after being ejected, and can remain inactive for a long time, which is why civilians can be mutilated or killed by bomblets that explode long after a conflict ends.
In addition to the absolutely anti-humanitarian aspect of these arms, it is necessary to emphasize that American law prohibits their export in any situation. For the US government to authorize the shipment of cluster munitions to Ukraine, it would be necessary to change national legislation – or simply act illegally. Also, National Security Council spokesman John Kirby had already made it clear that there was no possibility of sending these arms to Kiev, stating that “according to our own policy, we have concerns about the use of those kinds of munitions”.
However, for warmongers, no limits should be respected. Failing to convince the US government directly, the Ukrainians appealed to parliamentarians, who then used their power of political mobilization to form pro-war coalitions and encourage the violation of the country’s laws. Parliamentary pressure is one of the most frequently used mechanisms by Western powers to promote institutional changes in other countries. Now, the US government itself is under pressure from Congress, which echoes the interests of pro-war elites.
On the part of Ukrainians, there is no interest in respecting any humanitarian limits. There are already several reports stating that the Ukrainian armed forces used Soviet-era cluster weapons in civilian residential areas in Donbass since 2014. In March last year, for example, a Tochka-U missile containing cluster munitions killed more than 20 people and injured dozens of civilians in Donetsk. Faced with the collapse of the Ukrainian arsenals, what interests the neo-Nazi regime now is to obtain cluster arms from American stockpiles.
It is important to emphasize that the pressure in Washington comes in parallel with the British decision to send depleted uranium radioactive weapons to Kiev. This reinforces that Western pro-war elites are interested in raising the level of aid to Kiev, openly promoting the shipment of illegal weapons banned by international treaties. The practical result of this will obviously be an unprecedented escalation.
Commenting on the case at a recent press conference, Russia’s Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs, Sergey Ryabkov, said that American lawmakers do not seem aware of the tragic consequences that sending such armaments would generate. According to him, the very security of NATO countries would be threatened if such a measure were taken – since international tensions would escalate to a point of no return. Ryabkov also warned that this would block any possibility of normalization of relations between Moscow and Washington.
Obviously, Moscow will not remain inert while citizens in the special military operation zone are exposed to attacks with illegal weapons with high destructive power. In order to defend the inhabitants of territories reintegrated into the Russian Federation, extraordinary military measures will certainly be taken, which will have high impacts on the battlefield.
Dropped Through the Cracks