Headline RoundupMarch 11th, 2022

Should the US Let Poland Send Fighter Jets to Ukraine?

Summary from the AllSides News Team

After initially indicating support for a transfer of fighter jets to Ukraine, the U.S. now says the move is not tenable. Why?

On Sunday, Secretary of State Antony Blinken said Poland's plan to send fighter jets to Ukraine to help against the Russian invasion "gets a green light" from the U.S., and suggested that the U.S. could "backfill the planes that they’re handing over to the Ukrainians" with U.S. warplanes. The deal seemed likely to go through by mid-week, as Poland announced a deal on Tuesday. But later on Tuesday, Pentagon Press Secretary John Kirby said "we do not believe Poland’s proposal is a tenable one," citing a lack of "substantive rationale." Ukrainian pilots are trained to fly Russian-designed MiG jets and are unfamiliar with U.S. fighter jets, so in theory, NATO members such as Poland could sell or lend their MiGs to Ukraine, and the U.S. could send its F-15 or F-22 fighter jets to those countries to backfill their aerial arsenal.

Some voices, especially on the political right, were critical of the decision and argued that Biden and NATO may have given into fears of Russian backlash against the move. Other voices said sending the jets would have risked too much escalation between the U.S. and Russia, and argued that Ukraine and allies should focus more on antitank and antiaircraft weapons that have already proven successful in slowing Russian advances. 

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