Biden says 'no' for now to fighter jets over Ukraine

Biden says 'no' for now to fighter jets over Ukraine

A U.S.-made F-15 fighter is shown in service with Japan's air force. Ukraine is demanding similar NATO aircraft to help it fight Russia. 

Biden says 'no' for now to fighter jets over Ukraine

Russia’s war against Ukraine has divided European countries and NATO allies over how to fight a proxy war without stumbling into World War III, and now some allies are publicly supporting supplying fighter jets while the U.S. is resisting.

AFN reported last week Germany’s government, after weeks of arm-twisting, agreed to allow shipment of its prized Leopard 2 main battle tanks to Ukraine’s battle front. M1 Abrams tanks from the U.S., and Challenger 2 tanks from Great Britain, are also headed to the war in anticipation of Russia launching a springtime offensive in coming weeks.

Germany’s announcement was immediately denounced by Russia’s ambassador to Germany, who said it “takes the conflict to a new level of confrontation.”

That announcement was only minutes old, however, when Ukraine upped the ante and asked for advanced fighter jets, too. A request for fighter aircraft was made by Ukraine – and swiftly rejected by NATO – in the first weeks of the war, but it seems more likely, or at least less unlikely, 11 months into the war after NATO countries have flooded Ukraine with everything from mortars and towed artillery to military rifles and body armor.

According to an Associated Press story, NATO members Estonia and Poland are in talks this week with Ukraine's defense minister, Oleksii Reznikov, about sending aircraft. France also supports sending fighter aircraft, too, the AP story said. 

At the White House earlier this week, President Joe Biden answered “no” when a reporter asked him if the U.S. intends to send U.S.-made F-16 jets next.

Reznikov told reporters NATO keeps saying "no" to sending weapons, such as Stinger missiles, only to eventually give in. What is called "impossible" becomes "possible" later on, he bragged. 

Gordon Klingenschmitt, a former strategic missile officer with the U.S. Air Force, tells AFN our country’s most cutting-edge technology is shared with our NATO allies, which don’t include Ukraine.

“We supply F-16's to our best allies like Israel, like Germany, Japan," he says. “They've flown F-16's for years.”

Kirk Lippold, a former U.S. Navy commander, tells AFN it is in America’s national interest to send fighter jets to Ukraine. If the U.S. fails to help Ukraine defeat Russia, he asks, how will China’s communist leaders view our lack of commitment?  

“Get them the technology they need,” he says of Ukraine. “Get them trained as soon as possible and give it to them so we can defeat Russia."