15.5 C
New York
Friday, September 29, 2023

'Terrible mistake': Top Democrat blasts Biden decision to send Ukraine controversial cluster bombs

The top Democrat on the House Appropriations defense subcommittee warned Friday that it was a “mistake” for President Biden to green light sending controversial weapons known as cluster munitions to Ukraine. 

“The decision by the Biden administration to transfer cluster munitions to Ukraine is unnecessary and a terrible mistake,” Rep. Betty McCollum, D-Minn., said in a statement. 

“The legacy of cluster bombs is misery, death, and expensive cleanup generations after their use. The U.S. pays tens of millions of dollars annually to remove cluster munitions in Laos from the Vietnam era as these remnants of war continue to kill and maim civilians.”

The Biden administration announced that its latest aid package to Ukraine would include cluster munitions, bombs that release smaller explosives across a wide area when detonated. Cluster-type bombs have been banned by more than 100 countries because they are known to kill or maim civilians – in many cases, when dud submunitions fall to the ground without exploding but are unexpectedly detonated later, even years after they were dropped. 

Both Russia and Ukraine have used cluster munitions since Moscow first launched its attack in February 2022. White House national security advisor Jake Sullivan acknowledged on Friday that cluster munitions do pose a risk to civilians but said the danger to their lives would be higher if Kyiv did not have enough weapons to fight off Russia’s troops. The “dud rate” for munitions the Pentagon is sending to Ukraine is below 3%. 

But McCollum called on the U.S. to have nothing to do with the controversial weapons altogether.

The decision did, however, earn Biden rare praise across the aisle from Sen. Tom Cotton, R-Ark.

Sen. Tom Cotton in congress hearing

The decision did earn rare praise from Republican Sen. Tom Cotton (Tom Brenner/Getty Images)


“Cluster bombs work by scattering tiny ‘bomblets’ over a wide area. Many of these bomblets don’t explode—but remain a threat to civilians for decades,” Lee said on Twitter. 

“The Ukrainian people are engaged in a just struggle for their rights, freedom and humanity. The US and Ukraine don’t need to stoop to Putin’s level.”

Related Articles

Stay Connected


Latest Articles