‘There’ll Be Dramatic Escalation’ in Issue Ahead

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us’ f-16 supplies to ukraine, us’ european allies, us’ f-16 exports to kiev

us’ f-16 supplies to ukraine, us’ european allies, us’ f-16 exports to kiev

Although economically, the US could capitalize on its F-16 supplies to Kiev, the potential political implications may keep the White House from greenlighting the deliveries, Earl Rasmussen, a retired US army lieutenant colonel and international consultant, told Sputnik.

Washington recently made it clear that the US would allow its European allies to export F-16 multirole warplanes to Ukraine, an American news network has cited unnamed sources as saying.

The sources claimed that while the US remains reluctant to send any of its own F-16s to Kiev, the Biden administration is allegedly prepared to approve the jets’ exports to Ukraine “if that is what allies decide to do with their supply.”

According to the insiders, US lawmakers and congressional staffers have joined in the F-16 lobbying campaign, pressing the White House to deliver the jets to the Zelensky regime to help Kiev “establish control over its skies.”

US Air Force (USAF) F-16 Fighting Falcon - Sputnik International, 1920, 18.05.2023

US Reportedly Unconvinced Kiev Needs ‘Expensive’ F-16s Amid West’s Schism Over Jet Supplies

Even if the Biden administration finally decides to provide Kiev with the F-16s, these fighter jets are unlikely to arrive in time, because “you just can’t take an F-16 plane and give it to another country,” Rasmussen said.

He also recalled in this vein that even if Ukrainian pilots are flying the MiG and the Sukhoi fighter jets, “there’s a difference” when it comes to the F-16s. Rasmussen stressed that “even an experienced fighter pilot probably is going to need about six months of training, ideally, on the [F-16] aircraft, and if you’re a brand new pilot, typically the training is about two years.”

So “if you’re going to have fighter jets there [in Ukraine],” he went on, “that means you’re probably going to have an increased number of either actual US military personnel or contracted personnel that have military experience in order to fly the planes and to maintain them.”

“Then you have a whole maintenance structure that has to go in as well. So that would be an additional cost that would detract away from our own capabilities right now. We’ve got about 50% of the Republicans against funding additional money to Ukraine. […] Now, that’s not to say that the US will not become more directly involved [in the Ukraine conflict] at some point in time. I would hope they would not, but it’s probably likely they will. I don’t think the public would be very supportive of this as well,” the American expert noted.

He argued that another trouble pertains to the assumption that “there’s probably a conflict between the US Department of Defense and the State Department.” Rasmussen claimed that while in State Department, “they’re all-in – ‘Send them as many weapons as we can. Send them the F-16s’, the Pentagon’s going, ‘Whoa, wait. We don’t want this. This is escalating already too quickly. We need to put some type of control of this’.”

“So I think the Pentagon is trying to put some type of sense in the foreign policy side here. I think if the Pentagon has their say, you won’t see the F-16s going [to Ukraine],” the expert asserted.

He suggested that there will be “a dramatic increase in escalation for that, because that basically is going to force the US to be all-in on this. And that would not be a good decision.”





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