Defending Democracy Includes Sending Cluster Munitions to Ukraine ?

As if the depleted uranium shells weren’t bad enough!

U.S. Should Send Cluster Munitions to Ukraine

The top Republicans on the House and Senate foreign affairs and armed services committees sent a letter to President Joe Biden last week urging him to supply Ukraine with cluster munitions, specifically the Dual-Purpose Improved Conventional Munition (DPICM). While not without risks, providing DPICMs could ease Kyiv’s artillery ammunition shortage, which undermines Ukraine’s ability to repel Russian advances and may hamper its upcoming counteroffensive.

The DPICM is a type of warhead that releases smaller explosive submunitions, increasing lethality. Most relevant for Ukraine are the M483A1 and M864 artillery shells, which Ukraine’s Western-made 155mm artillery systems can fire.

As the lawmakers note, DPICMs “are highly effective against personnel — both enemy troops in the open and entrenched infantry — and mechanized vehicles. The United States relied on similar cluster munitions during the Cold War as a means of offsetting Soviet military advantages in manpower, artillery, and armored vehicles.” Russia today possesses similar numerical advantages against Ukraine, using some of the same Soviet-era vehicles that DPICMs were originally intended to defeat.

Cluster munitions are controversial because some of their submunitions typically fail to detonate, leaving behind unexploded ordnance (UXO) that can harm civilians or friendly forces. Like Washington, neither Kyiv nor Moscow has joined an international convention banning cluster munitions. (Nor has Poland or Romania, through whose territory the munitions would be delivered.) Both Russia and Ukraine have already used cluster munitions in the war.

If the cluster bombs “typically fail to detonate” it seems most likely that is a desired feature of these munitions. Or else that problem would have long been addressed

Kyiv has been asking Washington for U.S.-made cluster munitions since last summer. But the Biden administration has demurred, perhaps fearing political blowback at home and in parts of Europe. U.S. law generally prohibits the transfer of cluster munitions with a “dud” rate of over 1 percent, but the president can waive this prohibition under Section 614 of the Foreign Assistance Act. Some of the DPICM rounds in the U.S. arsenal have a dud rate of just above 1 percent, according to Under Secretary of Defense for Policy Colin Kahl.

DPICMs would ease Kyiv’s dangerous shortage of artillery ammunition. This “shell hunger” has already undermined Ukraine’s ability to repulse Russian advances around the eastern city of Bakhmut and may worsen as Western stockpiles continue to dwindle. Unless resolved, this shortage would likely hinder Ukraine’s much-anticipated counteroffensive — in which Washington and its allies have invested billions of dollars — later this spring.

DPICMs offer an untapped source of supply. According to the lawmakers, the United States possesses nearly 3 million DPICM rounds. Some are likely past their shelf life or otherwise unsuitable for Ukraine. (They’ll send the unsuitable and past their shelf life munitions) But even a few hundred thousand could make a critical difference to Ukrainian forces, who are currently firing around 3,000 to 4,000 artillery shells per day.

Read entirely at the opening link

Regarding depleted uranium munitions

4 replies on “Defending Democracy Includes Sending Cluster Munitions to Ukraine ?”

Hi Penny:

I’m 76 and all my life I’ve hoped for the West [my side] to lose these wars. Ever since the Viet Nam War which is the first war the dynamics I was fully aware of! I am now extremely cynical about the human race.

There is no morality in the West. Perhaps there never has been. All we can hope for is that the MAJORITY of the population [which IMO is against war with Russia] prevails.

Cluster bombs are designed to create ‘no mens’ lands’. This is what they want to create in and near Russian territories. I don’t think Russia will allow it.

So, unexploded ordnance and depleted uranium contamination will be the legacy left by the ‘rules based international order’ and the Ukrainian far right regime. A legacy that will plague unborn generations along the front lines of this terrible civil war. It makes one proud to pay taxes and support this latest expression of ‘democracy in action’. Neo-con militarists sleep tonight with contented smiles while the mindless majority cringe and look the other way. SNAFU

“So, unexploded ordnance and depleted uranium contamination will be the legacy left by the ‘rules based international order’ and the Ukrainian far right regime”
It looks that way.

And yes the neo con militarists likely do sleep well, after all, this is their desired agenda. So it’s winning while causing mass destruction at the expense of everyone else.

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