Ukraine crisis urges US military support


President Of Ukraine | Flickr

Patryk Sikora

President Joe Biden’s full-scale support of Ukraine appears to be wavering in recent days. Despite repeated pleas from Ukraine President Volodymyr Zelenskyy, the U.S. has not followed through on his requests. It seems clear that at this point in the war, the U.S. can and should do more to support Ukraine.

For a month now, Ukraine has defended its country from invasion by the Russians, who have recognized the independence of two separatist regions in Ukraine, Donetsk and Luhansk.

Subsequently, Russia rolled in its military claiming that it was meant to ensure peace in the newly recognized self-proclaimed separatist regions. Russia now has advanced way past the separatist regions well into the country. Despite the repeated claim of a peacekeeping mission, it has become clear that Russia has launched a full invasion of Ukraine.

The Pentagon has denied Zelenskyy’s repeated pleas for more planes, saying that Ukraine does not need more fighter jets. Poland offered Ukraine all of its MiG-29 jets, which Ukrainians can fly without any additional training, but the United States vetoed the plan.

The Pentagon may have great intelligence abroad but to tell Zelenskyy — who is in the middle of the war and has a better understanding of Ukrainian military capabilities — that he does not need the jets comes off as condescending.

Just because Russia has not achieved air superiority yet doesn’t mean that the badly outnumbered Ukrainian Air Force doesn’t need every fighter jet it can get its hands on.

While the Pentagon may be offering logistical excuses for declining the MiG transfer, the real reason is the same for why it won’t consider a no-fly zone. The United States is worried about crossing a red line with Russia that could lead the two nuclear powers into war.

The problem with that concern is that the United States’ inadequate efforts are more than enough pretext for Russia to start a war with the United States.

Russian President Vladimir Putin, as well as many others, consider sanctions an act of war, which the United States implemented quickly. Russia also warned that any support of the Ukrainian Air Force would be considered participation in the conflict.

That of which the United States has done consistently with its supply of antiaircraft weapons, intelligence, drones and helicopters.

There is no legal or military distinction between supplying drones and stingers that would somehow rule out sending fighter jet planes to Ukraine.

The no-fly zone appears to be the only shot at giving Ukraine a fair fight as the country is being constantly bombarded from the skies. The fear of enforcing a no-fly zone would mean that NATO or the United States may have to shoot down some Russian planes.

The White House worries about crossing a red line but has yet to set one in place to stop Russia. This fear that a single Russian plane being shot down by anyone other than Ukraine would lead to World War III is highly unlikely and has given Putin way too much leverage with his criminal acts of war.

The Pentagon claims that Ukraine does not need more fighter jets, and will not be enforcing a no-fly zone over Ukraine due to logistical complications, according to Politico.

The Biden administration will not put troops on the ground or planes in the air for Ukraine due to the fear of upsetting Russia and potentially catalyzing a nuclear war. This hesitancy is understandable given that Biden just pulled the United States out of its longest war in Afghanistan and probably does not want to jump right back into another one.

There is only one way to respond to Russia’s criminal war acts and that is with military force. Putin seems to only respect the kind of strength that the United States is refusing to assert.

Biden needs to be the leader of the free world that Zelenskyy has been begging him to be and give Ukraine everything it needs.