In a Saturday comment on Twitter, Elon Musk said that the United States is "debasing" itself in sending internationally banned cluster munitions to Ukraine, which is an act done out of "desperation".
He began by responding to a post by hawkish GOP Senator Tom Cotton—who advocates for sending more and more arms to Ukraine—following Biden having recently approved controversial cluster bombs. Musk wrote: "Sending more weapons will change the body count, but not the outcome."
I want the best outcome for the people.— Elon Musk (@elonmusk) July 15, 2023
Russia has at least 4 times the artillery of Ukraine and 10 times the ammunition.
We have run out of normal ammunition to send Ukraine, so now send them cluster bombs in desperation, debasing ourselves with no change to the outcome.
Musk is warning of a scenario of bloody escalation without end, in which Ukrainian civilians are likely to suffer most, but with no ultimate strategic gains by Ukrainian forces or even furthering Western aims. "Russia has at least 4 times the artillery of Ukraine and 10 times the ammunition," Musk said, pointing out additional inconvenient truths as follows: "We have run out of normal ammunition to send Ukraine, so now send them cluster bombs in desperation, debasing ourselves with no change to the outcome."
Meanwhile, Russian President Vladimir Putin in a new interview published Sunday strongly suggested that there will indeed be significant escalation and that he's ready to unleash Russia's own cluster arsenal on the battlefield. He specifically addressed the United States injecting its cluster bombs into the Ukraine war on the side of Kiev.
Putin said it is a "crime" for which Russian forces will respond with "reciprocal action" as his country has a "sufficient stockpile" of cluster munitions.
"Until now, we have not done this, we have not used it, and we have not had such a need," Putin claimed, despite the West having long charged Moscow with already having previously deployed the internationally banned weapon on the battlefield.
Neither the US, Russia, nor Ukraine has signed on to international treaties banning the use of cluster bombs, held by over 120 countries due to their being an 'indiscriminate' munition which more easily harms civilians.
"Russia has a sufficient stock of various types of cluster munitions... We have not needed to [use them], despite the well-known [munitions] deficit for a certain period of time," Putin said. "The US administration itself gave an assessment of these munitions through the mouths of its employees some time ago… calling the use [of these munitions] a crime. This is how I think it should be regarded," he asserted in the interview.
Indeed the Biden administration previously said cluster bombs in particular are indicative of potential war crimes...
It's only a war crime of someone else does it?— Veterans For Peace (@VFPNational) July 14, 2023
White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki in 2022 acknowledging the use of cluster bombs by Russia is a war crime. A year later Biden does same thing pic.twitter.com/bCmmJ51krW
International human rights and monitoring organizations have said that cluster munitions have been used by both sides of the conflict thus far.
Days ago, there were widespread reports that US cluster bomb supplies had already reached Ukrainian forces. The Pentagon has an abundance in its own stockpiles, which go back decades, as more conventional artillery supplies among the West has run low and fallen woefully short.
And now, the head of the Defense Intelligence Agency (DIA) has offered a blunt assessment calling the war a "stalemate" - suggesting that he likely agrees with Musk's conclusion, namely that "Sending more weapons will change the body count, but not the outcome."
See DIA Chief of Staff John Kirchhofer's words below...
John Kirchhofer of the US Defense Intelligence Agency says the Ukraine war is "at a bit of a stalemate."— Aaron Maté (@aaronjmate) July 15, 2023
As for NATO's heavy weapons: "None of these, unfortunately, are the holy grail that Ukraine is looking for that I think will allow them in the near-term to break through." pic.twitter.com/fkUjpVy6Oo