US provides Ukraine prohibited cluster bombs
At least 11 countries have expressed concern over the US’ move to use cluster bombs in its proxy war in Ukraine against Russia. Among them are Laos and Cambodia, and US-allied countries such as Belgium, Canada, Germany, Italy, Norway, Spain, and the United Kingdom. Cluster bombs were sent to Ukraine as its army is running out of ammunition in a “counter-offensive” against Russia.
The use of cluster bombs violates international humanitarian law because it is a type of weapon that is indiscriminate and harmful to civilians. A cluster bomb is a bomb that contains many smaller bombs or bomblets. It is launched from the ground or the air and explodes mid-air. It releases dozens or hundreds of bomblets that fall over a wide area.
Not all bomblets detonate upon contact with the ground and instead are buried and explode when hit or stepped on. According to studies, up to 40% of the bomblet content of cluster bombs do not explode when deployed. This was the experience of countries where cluster bombs were used, such as Laos, where the US dropped more than 20 million tons of cluster munitions in the 1970s and where 30% of the bomblets did not explode. An estimated 20,000 civilians, half of them children, were killed or injured by buried bomblets since 1975.
With the harm it causes to civilians, more than 120 countries signed an agreement in 2008 to ban the production and use of cluster bombs. Apart from China and Russia, the US also did not sign. The country remains the largest military power that continue to manufacture and use such weapons.
The Communist Party of the Philippines, National Democratic Front of the Philippines, as well as other democratic and pro-peace organizations in the country, strongly condemned the provision and use of cluster bombs by the US in Ukraine. This will prolong and intensify the proxy war at the expense of civilians.
As expected, the puppet Armed Forces of the Philippines is silent on this matter. It runs contrary to their baseless complaints against the New People’s Army’s use of command-detonated explosives which is not prohibited by the Anti-Personnel Mine Ban Convention or the Ottawa Treaty.