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Cluster Munitions Kill Civilians at High Rates. Some in Congress Want to Send them to Ukraine Anyway

The majority of the world agrees that the humanitarian consequences and civilian harm caused by cluster munitions, which can kill anyone and everyone in their wide path, are unacceptable. Despite this global understanding, the United States remains an outlier in allowing the continued production and use of these immoral weapons. Now, some lawmakers are urging the Biden Administration to send cluster munitions to Ukraine, disregarding the global prohibition of these weapons and the significant danger they pose to civilians.

Issue Brief: U.S. Policy on Landmines

Anti-personnel landmines are “designed to be exploded by the presence, proximity or contact of a person and that will incapacitate, injure or kill one or more persons.” As they are not able to distinguish between civilians and combatants, are hard to safely destroy or remove, and often fail to self-destruct or self-deactivate, landmines continue to inflict human suffering long after a conflict ends.

Understanding Landmines

On June 21, 2022 President Biden announced a near-global ban on anti-personnel landmine use by the United States, fulfilling his campaign promise to reverse the Trump administration’s anti-personnel landmine policy.