ACTION ALERT: Block US Use of Globally Banned Cluster Bombs

July 8th, 2023 - by CODEPINK, Peace in Ukraine Coalition & Dave DeCamp /

of Globally Banned Cluster Bombs
CODEPINK, Peace in Ukraine Coalition & Dave DeCamp /

(July 7, 2023) — House reps Sara Jacobs (D-San Diego) and Ilhan Omar (D-Minnesota) have introduced an amendment to the NDAA or military budget to ban the use and export license for cluster munitions (see photo attachment).

ACTION: Please call your House rep (202-224-3121) and email, too, urging your rep to co-sponsor this amendment and vote for it when it reaches the floor soon.

CODEPINK sent out an alert this morning to mobilize opposition to sending these internationally-banned weapons, each one containing hundreds if not thousands of shiny bomblets that often fail to explode until years later when a child picks up a bomblet thinking it’s a toy, only to have a limb blown off. Please click on this alert.

This morning the Washington Post reported the White House will send Ukraine cluster munitions, bypassing US law prohibiting the shipment of cluster bombs with a failure to detonate rate of more than 1 percent. More than 120 countries, according to the Post, have signed the UN Convention on Cluster Munitions to outlaw their use.

Marcy Winograd
Coordinator, CODEPINK Congress (
Co-Chair, Peace in Ukraine Coalition @MarcyWinograd on twitter

ACTION: Tell Your Congressional Reps to
Vote No on Sending Cluster Bombs to Ukraine

The White House is considering sending internationally-banned cluster bombs to Ukraine in a desperate bid to shore up a slow counter-offensive against Russian troops. Instead of supporting a ceasefire and peace talks, the Pentagon is pushing to send weapons declared illegal under the UN Convention on Cluster Munitions.

There’s a reason why over 100 countries have banned the use of cluster munitions, shells that contain hundreds to thousands of smaller bomblets dropped from the air to litter areas the size of football fields. These shiny bomblets often do not explode until children — thinking they are toys — pick them up and have their limbs ripped off.

During the US secret war on Laos, the Pentagon blanketed the country with almost 300-million bomblets. Many of them never detonated, killing and injuring tens of thousands of Laotians in the decades after the US pulled out of Indochina.

ACTION: Click here to tell your congressional reps to issue a public statement against the shipment of US cluster bombs to Ukraine, to demand a congressional vote and to vote no should the issue of cluster bomb shipments come before congress.

US to Provide Ukraine with Cluster Bombs
Human Rights Watch reports Ukraine used
cluster bombs to kill civilians in Izium

Dave DeCamp /

(July 6, 2023) — The Associated Press reported Thursday that the Biden administration has decided to arm Ukraine with cluster bombs and will announce the munitions as part of a new $800 million arms package. The news comes after Human Rights Watch (HRW) issued a report that said Ukraine has killed its own citizens using the munitions.

US officials told AP that they expect the arms package to be announced Friday. The White House used to be opposed to arming Ukraine with cluster munitions, as they are indiscriminate weapons that cause harm to civilians, but the concerns have waned.

Cluster bombs scatter small submunitions over large areas, making them especially hazardous to civilians who can find unexploded munitions years after they were dropped. Because of their indiscriminate nature, cluster munitions have been banned by more than 100 nations. The US, Ukraine, and Russia are not parties to the treaty, known as the Convention on Cluster Munitions.

The HRW report said that Ukrainian cluster munition rocket attacks in the eastern city of Izium in 2022 killed at least eight civilians and wounded 15 more. HRW also said Russia’s use of cluster bombs in the war has killed many civilians.

Ukraine’s use of cluster bombs on people living in its eastern territory goes back to 2014, when war first broke out in the Donbas. That year, HRW issued a report that said Kyiv was using the controversial munitions against populated areas of Donetsk. “The use of cluster munitions in populated areas violates the laws of war due to the indiscriminate nature of the weapon and may amount to war crimes,” HRW said.

According to Truthout, Daryl Kimball, executive director of the Arms Control Association, issued a statement on Thursday warning the US against sending cluster bombs to Ukraine. He said doing so would “be escalatory, counterproductive, and only further increase the dangers to civilians caught in combat zones and those who will, someday, return to their cities, towns, and farms.”

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