Biden Administration Defends Use of Cluster Bombs

Cluster Bomblet

( – The White House has defended a decision by President Joe Biden to provide Ukraine with cluster munitions as Ukraine battles to liberate its occupied territories from Vladimir Putin’s Russia.

Cluster munitions are explosives that scatter submunitions over the strike area. An international convention to ban cluster munitions is signed by 108 countries – or roughly half of all nations worldwide – because, historically, they cause civilian casualties.

However, the United States, Russia, and Ukraine are not among the signatories. Moscow has been using cluster – as well as the even more deadly phosphorus bombs and thermobaric weapons – since the start of the invasion 501 days ago.

Biden’s decision to give Ukraine cluster bombs was justified on Sunday by White House National Security Council spokesman John Kirby.

“This is about keeping Ukraine in the fight. You were just there. You talked to President Zelenskyy about the counteroffensive, and in some ways, it’s not going as fast as he would like,” Kirby told host Martha Raddatz during an ABC News appearance after the same program aired an interview with the Ukrainian leader.

“They are using artillery at a very accelerating rate, Martha, many thousands of rounds per day. This is literally a gunfight in – all along, from the Donbas, all the way down toward Zaporizhzhia and Kherson. And so, they’re running out of inventory,” the White House official explained.

“We are trying to ramp up our production of the kind of artillery shells that they’re using most. But that production is still not where we wanted it to be. So, we’re going to see these additional artillery shells that have cluster bomblets in them to help bridge the gap as we ramp up production of normal 155 artillery shells,” Kirby explained further.

The cluster munition decision came ahead of the NATO alliance summit in Vilnius, Lithuania, within miles from the border of Putin’s Russia, which President Joe Biden will attend.

Two-thirds of the 31 NATO member states are members of the convention banning cluster munitions. Among them are the UK and Spain, which have asked the US not to send cluster bombs to Ukraine.

“It took me a while to be convinced to do it,” Biden told CNN in an interview aired on Sunday.