Former Pentagon analyst and Air Force Lieutenant Colonel, Karen Kwiatkowski, has criticized the U.S. decision to provide cluster munitions to Ukraine, stating that the Pentagon is eager to unload them due to their ban in many countries. Kwiatkowski believes that the Pentagon’s interest lies in clearing old inventory to make way for more profitable weapons.
“The Pentagon’s interest seems to be in getting rid of stockpiled munitions, and these cluster bombs are honestly difficult to get rid of for-profit as so many nations have banned them,” Kwiatkowski said.
Cluster bombs are seen as a tactic to freeze off land areas, disrupt transportation lines, and establish new borders in the later stages of traditional land battles. She expressed concerns about Ukraine’s track record of restraint and accountability with other weapons systems supplied by the U.S. and its allies. Kwiatkowski also pointed out the double standards in Western media’s portrayal of cluster bomb usage.
“This U.S. decision and NATO’s flaccid acceptance of it, contrary to the policies of many NATO member states, serves as the latest example of extreme hypocrisy, and it is being observed and understood for exactly that by all of Europe, as well as the rest of the world,” Kwiatkowski concluded.
The move by the Biden administration has been widely criticized by human rights activists and some U.S. lawmakers, with Congressman Matt Gaetz planning to co-sponsor an amendment to ban the transfer of cluster munitions to Ukraine or any other country.
Cluster munitions, which disperse multiple small explosive charges, are banned by several countries, including European signatories of the 2008 Oslo Convention.
Russia already warned the U.S. against sending the cluster munitions to Ukraine, and Russian Ambassador to the UN Vassily Nebenzia argued it would count as a bigger step toward escalating the conflict.
Late last month, the U.S. military said that despite it being banned by most countries, supplying Ukraine with cluster bombs could be useful against Russia.