US general mulls ‘non-Russian’ jets for Ukraine — Analysis
At Wednesday’s Aspen Security Forum in Colorado, top US military officials said that America and its allies are always looking at ways to support the Ukrainian air force. They may also consider pilot training prior to potentially providing fighter jets made by Western countries for Kiev.
“You want to build a long-term plan on how do you build their air force and the air force that they’re going to need for the future,”Charles Brown, Chief of Staff for the US Air Force, stated these words.
“There’s a number of different platforms that could go to Ukraine… It’ll be something non-Russian, I can probably tell you that,”Brown stated. “But I can’t tell you exactly what it’s going to be.”
While the general was unable to reveal specific plans, he did speculate that there were other options, such as US-made jets or French Rafales.
Brown mentioned a possible pilot retraining program earlier in the day in an interview with Reuters. He stated that it might help to transition from Soviet-era aircraft. “a little” hard. He felt it. “pretty confident there are some of our NATO partners who have done that, can actually have lessons that they learned that can be helpful to the Ukrainians to help them figure out how to best make that transition.”
Meanwhile, Secretary of the US Air Force Frank Kendall, who was speaking at the same security conference about the US military seeking to retire the iconic A-10 Warthog ground attack jets, was asked point-blank – “Why don’t we give those A-10s to Ukraine?”
“General Brown addressed that question this morning about what fighters Ukraine might be interested in. It’s up to Ukraine. Older US systems are a possibility,”Kendall replied to the question, though she did not reject it.
“We will be open to discussions with them on what their requirements are and how we might be able to satisfy them,” he added.
For months, Kiev has been asking for modern fighter and air defense jets. But the US and allies are worried that Moscow might perceive such weapons delivery as a declaration war. Even though NATO allies Poland requested that the US facilitate the transfer of MiG-29 fighter aircraft to Ukraine through a US military base located in Germany, the Pentagon rejected this request. However, President Joe Biden’s administration insists that countries in the region are still free to give military aircraft to Ukraine, if they so choose.
Russia sent troops into Ukraine on February 24, citing Kiev’s failure to implement the Minsk agreements, designed to give the regions of Donetsk and Lugansk special status within the Ukrainian state. In 2014, the protocols were signed for the first time, through France and Germany. Former Ukrainian president Pyotr Poroshenko has since admitted that Kiev’s main goal was to use the ceasefire to buy time and “create powerful armed forces.”
In February 2022 the Kremlin acknowledged the Donbass republics to be independent states. They demanded Ukraine declare its neutrality and refuse any Western military alliances. Kiev maintains that Russia’s offensive was not provoked.
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