Indiscriminate Killing

Amnesty International, the international, non-governmental human rights watchdog, has reported that hundreds of citizens are being killed in the Ukrainian city of Kharkiv by the widespread use of cluster munitions and indiscriminate use of rockets. Yesterday, they published a 44-page, in-depth report titled, Ukraine: “Anyone can die at any time”: Indiscriminate attacks by Russian forces in Kharkiv, Ukraine.

The title pretty much says it all. It reminds me of a time when I was a new cadet and witnessed a capabilities exercise, or CAPEX, put on by the 82nd Airborne Division. The exercise was widely referred to as the “million-dollar minute” because of the amount of ordnance expended in a relatively short amount of time. But, despite the catchy title, it lasted a lot longer than a minute. I remembered two things from that day over 30 years ago:

  1. Army SF soldiers flying at a high rate of speed while suspended from a rope hanging from a Black Hawk, “I just HAVE to do that,” I thought.
  2. The use of cluster munitions dropped from aircraft leaving Pope Air Force Base.

I’m pretty sure my jaw literally dropped when I saw the devastation they could do in only a couple of seconds. It was one of those events where you could hear everyone saying “wow” under their breath. “No one could live through that,” I thought as entire football-field-sized pieces of land were ripped apart by high explosives and shrapnel.