Cotton backs Biden’s shipment of cluster munitions to Ukraine

Sen. Tom Cotton (R-Ark.) on Friday signaled his support for President Biden’s expected decision to send cluster munitions to Ukraine.

“For Ukrainian forces to defeat Putin’s invasion, Ukraine needs at least equal access to the weapons that Russia is already using against them, such as cluster munitions,” he added. . he wrote on Twitter. “Providing this new capability is the right decision – even if it took too long – and it was the one I supported.”

The Pentagon is expected to announce the new aid, worth about $800 million, on Friday. Ukraine has been asking for cluster munitions since last year, but the Biden administration has waited. The ammunition is banned by an international treaty signed by more than 120 nations, but not the United States, Russia or Ukraine.

A small number of fragmentation charges in a round are “duds” that do not initially explode and can cause civilian casualties. The Pentagon has pledged to only send cluster munitions to Ukraine that have been tested to have the lowest possible failure rate, no more than 2.35%, Brig. General Patrick Ryder said Thursday.

Russia has used cluster munitions on several occasions against Ukraine, including shooting at a kindergarten early in the war. Human Rights Watch says cluster munitions are responsible for “numerous” civilian casualties in Ukraine.

The United States has a large stockpile of cluster munitions from the war in Iraq, and they could be very effective for the war in Ukraine, the Associated Press reported.

“Cluster munitions are more effective than unitary artillery shells because they inflict damage over a wider area,” research analyst Ryan Brobst told the AP.

“It is important for Ukraine as it tries to clear heavily fortified Russian positions,” he added.

Copyright 2023 Nexstar Media Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

Leave a Comment