“Blinken Says U.S. Is Eyeing Ways for Poland to Supply Jets to Ukraine,” reads March 6 headline in the Wall Street Journal.
The article came on the same day Antony Blinken appeared on the CBS News program “Face the Nation.” In the course of the interview, Blinken was asked if the US would approve a transfer of military jets to Ukraine from a NATO country. Without missing a beat, he replied:
“[T]hat gets a green light. In fact, we’re talking with our Polish friends right now about what we might be able to do to back fill their needs if in fact they choose to provide these fighter jets to the Ukrainians…. We’re in very active discussions with them about that.”
Providing its jets and airfield space to Ukraine while that country is at war with Russia would be tantamount to an act of war. You do not have to be a military expert to realize this. But just in case anyone failed to recognize this fact, Russia has made this point explicitly clear. According to reports, “Russia has warned that supporting Ukraine’s air force would be seen in Moscow as participating in the conflict and open up suppliers to possible retaliation.”
It is almost certain that Russia would respond militarily against Poland for the transfer of fighter jets to a government with which Russia is currently at war.
It is also clear that the idea of giving Poland’s aircraft to Russia did not originate from the heads of Polish government officials. According to the Associated Press, the Polish government has made it clear “that it would not send its fighter jets directly to Ukraine or allow its airports to be used.”
Earlier Polish Prime Minister Mateusz Morawiecki unequivocally stated that his country is “not a party to this war.”
This is exactly right. Poland has not been threatened or attacked by Russia. Poland has no reason or desire to commit an act that would almost certainly draw a military response from Russia. That would be senseless and self-defeating.
The idea to give Polish jets to Ukraine clearly came from the American side. The Biden administration tried to get Poland to do this both by back-room pressure and bribery, i.e., by offering them newer type American jets in exchange.
There can be little question that by urging Poland to supply jets to Ukraine, the United States was attempting to provoke Russia into launching some form of military response against Poland. Thus, what Biden administration is attempting to do is to deliberately expand the Ukrainian theatre of war into other eastern European countries.