NATO Ambassador: No F-16’s for Ukraine

By Georgia National Guard - 140th Wing sets off to Sentry Savannah 2021 [Image 8 of 9], CC BY 2.0,

The United States does not intend to provide high-end aircraft to Ukraine despite Russia’s advances in eastern Ukraine, U.S. Permanent Representative to NATO Ambassador Julianne Smith said.

When asked by Air Force Magazine whether the United States or alliance members have discussed transfer or training for American aircraft like F-16s, Smith simply stated, “No.”

While Smith said she relies on the Defense Department for detailed, regular talks with the Ukrainian Defense Ministry about Ukraine’s battlefield needs, she affirmed that the prospect of a prolonged conflict between Russia and Ukraine has not changed partners’ willingness to provide aircraft to Ukraine.

President Joe Biden argued in a New York Times editorial June 1 that his decisions regarding which weapons to transfer to Ukraine were motivated by giving Ukraine the strongest hand at the negotiating table, not weakening Russia.

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Paul Crespo is the Managing Editor of American Defense News. A defense and national security expert, he served as a Marine Corps officer and as a military attaché with the Defense Intelligence Agency (DIA) at US embassies worldwide. Paul holds degrees from Georgetown, London, and Cambridge Universities. He is also CEO of SPECTRE Global Risk, a security advisory firm, and President of the Center for American Defense Studies, a national security think tank. - - PAULCRESPO.COM

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