File photo: Local residents dodge the "bomblet" of a cluster bomb in Baghdad, Iraq, on April 5 2003.
By Nie Shuyi
The US' endorsement to supply Ukraine with cluster munitions continues to provoke waves of opposition from international society. Since the White House announced the decision on July 7, the UK, France, Germany and other US allies have voiced their objection. "America's NATO allies have been lining up to distance themselves from its decision to supply Ukraine with controversial cluster bombs", the BBC reported on July 9. The US has accustomed to performing moral shows by exploiting the Ukraine crisis, which completely has nowhere to go after its hypocritic mask is blasted out by cluster munitions.
美國同意向烏克蘭提供集束彈藥 一事持續引發國際社會的反對聲浪。自7月7日白宮宣布這一決定以來，英國、法國、德國等美國盟友也紛紛發聲反對， BBC 9日報道說，“該決定已讓美國盟友紛紛與其保持距離”。美國一貫愛借烏克蘭危機進行“道德表演”，但集束彈藥炸開了美國虛偽的假面，美國的“道德表演”徹底演不下去了。無論美國演得如何關心烏克蘭民眾，在美國心里，烏克蘭實質上不過是拖垮俄羅斯的“炮灰”。
The announcement of supplying cluster munitions to Ukraine is part of the US new round of US$800 million arms aid to the country. "Sending cluster munitions to Ukraine amounts to a clear escalation of a conflict that has already become far too brutal and destructive," commented the New York Times. After the Ukraine crisis persists for 500 days, the US still refuses to listen to the claim for an early and peaceful resolution of the crisis from the international community and even keeps fueling the conflict.
The move of the US could also create a more severe and enduring humanitarian crisis in the region. Cluster munitions are not new-type weapons and can be traced back to WWII. The biggest controversy about the munitions is that they feature a high dud rate, which means that many bombs don't detonate upon being dropped, but will cause damage over a longer period of time and on a broader scale. The US Army Times reported that the use of cluster munitions in urban areas will greatly increase the probability of civilian casualties. Relevant statistics showed that 97% of victims stricken by cluster munitions in 2021 were civilians, two-thirds of whom were children.
Many parts of the world had suffered from cluster munitions over the past few decades. During the Vietnam War, the US want only dropped cluster munitions in Southeast Asian countries, which caused lasting and profound disasters to the local people. According to statistics, the US has dropped 26 million to 30 million cluster munitions on the land of Cambodia, of which five million to six million are unexploded and constantly incurring death and injury to local people and posing a major security risk to the country. Cambodian Prime Minister Hun Sen posted on multiple social platforms on July 9, calling on the US and Ukraine not to use cluster munitions, while saying that this decision of the US to supply cluster muntions to Ukraine will cause a hundred years of pain to the people.
The US had also utilized cluster munitions in the Gulf War, the Kosovo War, the Afghanistan War and the Iraq War over these years. Cluster munitions refitted with special warheads such as graphite bombs can destroy power grids and other key infrastructure, therefore, the US' abuse of cluster munitions not only caused a large number of casualties, but also wreaked havoc on local civilian facilities. This is why the decision of the US is resisted by many countries including its NATO allies and international humanitarian organizations. However, US politicians seem to turn a deaf ear to this and keep making excuses. Perhaps the real calculation of the US behind all excuses is that the supply of cluster munitions could clear its expiring stocks of this type of weapons and further prolong the duration of the crisis.
The Ukraine crisis that has lasted for more than 500 days has already brought grave humanitarian disasters to the regions, which will undoubtedly become lengthier and more uncontrollable once the hole of cluster munitions is torn open by the US.
Suppose the US really wishes to "protect the Ukrainian people," it should practically facilitate a peaceful resolution to the current crisis rather than ratcheting up tensions for its own selfish interests and plunging the existing struggling innocent people into an even more dreadful nightmare.
Editor's note: Originally published on haiwainet.cn, this article is translated from Chinese into English and edited by the China Military Online. The information and opinions in this article do not necessarily reflect the views of eng.chinamil.com.cn.