Pentagon Admits that Delivery of F-16s to Ukraine Won’t Have an Immediate Positive Impact for It

On May 22, 2023, Frank Kendall, the Secretary of the Air Force, announced that the upcoming delivery of F-16 fighter jets to Ukraine won’t drastically alter the course of the Russo-Ukrainian war in favor of Ukraine.

“It’s not going to fundamentally change that that equation,” he stated during a meeting with the Defense Writers Group.

He stressed that it would “take several months at best” to send these fighter aircraft to Ukraine. 

On May 21, after the G7 summit in Japan, United States President Joe Biden said that the Collective West has plans to train Ukrainian pilots in flying fourth-generation aircraft including F-16s. US National Security Advisor Jake Sullivan stated that Washington will discuss with its allies in the following months which countries will transfer F-16 fighter aircraft to Ukraine. He said that the US administration believes the supplies of jets are not a priority for preparing Ukraine for a counteroffensive.

On May 20, Russia’s Deputy Foreign Minister Alexander Grushko commented on US allies’ plans to transfer F-16 fighter jets to Ukraine, declaring that Western countries continue escalating the Ukrainian conflict, and Russia will factor this when making plans.

Russia has escalatory dominance in this conflict so sending fighter planes is only prolonging an inevitable defeat for Ukraine. If the US were serious about establishing peace, it would stop sending military aid to Ukraine and instead, start promoting a negotiated peace to this conflict.

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