(Ken Silva, Headline USA) The Biden administration has agreed to provide F-16 fighter jets to Ukraine and has greenlit the embattled nation to attack Russia with them, in a move that inches the world closer to nuclear war.
News about Biden’s agreement on F-16s was first reported by the Washington Post last week, citing anonymous Pentagon sources.
“As the training takes place over the coming months, our coalition of countries participating in this effort will decide when to actually provide jets, how many we will provide, and who will provide them,” an unnamed official told the Post, adding, “This training will take place outside Ukraine at sites in Europe and will require months to complete.”
Biden National Security Advisor Jake Sullivan confirmed Sunday that the jets could be used to attack Crimea, which was annexed by Russia in 2014.
“We have not placed limitations on Ukraine being able to strike on its territory within its internationally recognized borders. What we have said is that we will not enable Ukraine with U.S. systems, Western systems, to attack Russia. And we believe Crimea is Ukraine,” Sullivan told CNN’s Jake Tapper.
In response to the recent developments, Russia warned that a US-backed Ukrainian strike on Crimea would be as serious as an attack on its mainland.
Russia’s ambassador to the US, Anatoly Antonov, reportedly said the “unconditional approval of strikes on Crimea” and the provision of F-16 fighter jets for Ukraine “once again make it clear that the US has never been interested in peace.”
As noted by antiwar.com’s David DeCamp, Secretary of State Antony Blinken has previously acknowledged that Ukrainian attacks on Crimea are a “red line” for Russian President Vladimir Putin.
Even Barack Obama acknowledged the folly of fighting Russia over the Crimea, which has historically been Russian territory and is a vital national security interest for Putin. Crimea is the Russian Navy’s only warm-water port. Losing access to it would marginalize Russia from a global power to a minor regional player.
“This is not another cold war that we’re entering into. The United States and NATO do not seek any conflict with Russia,” Obama said after the Crimean annexation. “Now is not the time for bluster … There are no easy answers, no military solution.”
Ken Silva is a staff writer at Headline USA. Follow him at twitter.com/jd_cashless.