After months of internal administration debate over whether to supply Kyiv with the controversial munitions, which are banned by over 120 countries in the world, President Biden has approved on Thursday the provision of U.S. cluster munitions for Ukraine.
The drawdown of the weapons from DoD stocks is to be announced Friday and the move will bypass US law prohibiting the production, use or transfer of cluster munitions with a failure rate of more than 1 percent.
After phasing them out in 2016, the DoD has a stockpile of cluster munitions known as DPICMs that it no longer uses and the US Army’s eArmor website explains that Ukraine will be sent cluster munitions that are fired from 155mm howitzers, with each canister carrying 88 bomblets.
Depending upon the height it releases the bomblets, a single canister can cover an area up to 30,000 square meters (about 7.5 acres) and each bomblet has a lethal range of about 10 square meters.
More than 120 countries have joined a convention banning their use as inhumane and indiscriminate, but neither the US nor Ukraine and Russia are parties to the convention. Seven other NATO members have not ratified the convention.