As the devastating war in Ukraine continues with no end in sight, the Green Party Peace Action Committee (GPAX) renews its call for the U.S. to end its participation in this proxy war against Russia. It has become clear that the pro-war elements of the Biden administration miscalculated badly in their plans to make Ukraine into a NATO bulwark against Russia. Economic sanctions and vast military and financial assistance have failed to secure victory for Ukraine, and the U.S. is now cynically sacrificing Ukrainian lives to avoid political embarrassment before the 2024 U.S. elections.
By continuing to enable this war, the Biden administration is perpetuating needless bloodshed, weakening our European allies, damaging our relations with non-aligned countries, and increasing the risk of a catastrophic nuclear war. The only beneficiaries of this failed belligerent policy are the U.S. arms makers, who are reaping profits from the replacement of weaponry fed into the fires of the Ukraine war.
GPAX calls for the U.S. government to immediately commence diplomatic negotiations with Russia to bring an end to the war in Ukraine. A negotiated cease-fire should be followed by a permanent settlement that considers the interests of all parties. By pretending that the U.S. cannot end this war, and instead supplying progressively more destructive weaponry, the Biden administration is perpetuating a conflict that is costing thousands of lives and devastating an entire nation.
While refusing to enter negotiations, Biden has steadily escalated U.S. involvement, most recently by supplying artillery cluster munitions. This type of weapon has been banned by many nations because of the danger to civilians of unexploded bomblets that remain lethal for years. Adding this hazard to the huge number of landmines present in the battlefields is creating a deadly legacy for the civilians of Ukraine.
It is time for rationality and realism to return to U.S. foreign policy and for the Washington neocons who engineered the disaster in Ukraine to be removed from power. More war is not the path to peace; it will lead to greater ruin for Ukraine and greater danger for the whole world.
Sowing Death in Ukraine
The decision by the Biden administration to supply large quantities of artillery cluster munitions to Ukraine will create a long-term danger to civilians caused by unexploded ordnance lingering in former war zones. In 2008, recognition of the harmful effects of such weapons led to an international treaty banning their production and use. The Convention on Cluster Munitions has since been ratified by 111 nations. Unfortunately, the U.S. is not a party to this treaty.
The U.S. used vast quantities of cluster munitions in Southeast Asia during the Vietnam War. The Red Cross has reported that Laos is contaminated by about 80 million cluster submunitions, affecting all 17 provinces and resulting in 300 yearly casualties. The U.S. also used cluster munitions in the 1991 Gulf War, dropping 61,000 cluster bombs. Usage of this type of weapon has diminished in more recent years, but the U.S. retains a vast arsenal of over a million cluster artillery shells, which it now intends to provide to Ukraine.
The small percentage of cluster munition bomblets that fail to detonate immediately remain dangerous unexploded ordnance (UXO). They may explode randomly, or when a farmer works in a field, or when a child handles one, mistaking it for a toy. The arithmetic of calculating this danger is simple: multiply the dud rate (usually around 2%) times the number of bomblets in a shell (typically about 50) times the number of shells fired (Ukraine currently fires thousands a day). This calculation yields the ugly result that the U.S. will cause the sowing of civilian death in the fields and towns of Ukraine.
The danger of cluster munitions UXO compounds the hazard of widespread mining of the battlefields of Ukraine. In addition to conventional mine-laying methods, both sides in the Ukraine war now employ remote mining weaponry that scatters mines via rocket and conventional artillery. The locations of these new minefields are unlikely to be documented accurately and will pose a long-term postwar danger to civilians.
Callous disregard for the consequences of sending cluster munitions to Ukraine is consistent with the cynical U.S. use of Ukraine as a proxy for harming Russia. Heedless of the escalation risk, the U.S. will continue sending weapons to Ukraine as long as the Zelensky regime is willing to sacrifice Ukraine’s people to serve U.S. geopolitical goals. The civilians who die because of the legacy of death bequeathed by unexploded U.S. weapons in Ukraine is considered acceptable collateral damage by the Washington neocons who remain firmly in control of U.S. foreign policy.
The Peace Action Committee of the U.S. Green Party calls for an end to the arming of Ukraine and immediate U.S. negotiations for a cease-fire and permanent settlement of this conflict. The U.S. can and must stop this war that is destroying Ukraine and seeding its land with future death and destruction.