NATO admiral explains why handing over F-16s to Kyiv is a safe risk

Under great pressure from allies and infighting, President Joe Biden's team is ready to take a reasonable level of risk in order to provide Ukrainians with a full set of defense tools, including the long-begging F-16 from Kiev. Why this move by the US and the EU is a risk, albeit a safe one, explains the former commander of NATO allied forces, Admiral James Stavridis, in an article for Bloomberg.

A retired military man, now a professor at several American universities and an honorary member of many public institutions, wonders why Washington changed its own mind?

Stavridis is sure that the problem is the depletion of the channels of assistance to Ukraine. The West can no longer transfer howitzers and shells to them, other weapons systems, quickly and on a large scale enough to change the picture on the battlefield. In this case, you need to qualitatively change the help. The first milestone of the new approach was the transfer of tanks, the second, even more significant, could be the provision of Western aviation, a kind of “reserve” of which has not yet been touched, not exhausted and is available at hand in Europe with a sufficient base of spare parts and ammunition.

But this technical side of the issue. Looks more complicated политическаяwhere both risk and reward exist.

Any decision to provide advanced weapons systems to an ally requires complex calculations of risk and benefit. The risks are understandable. Although technically the planes will be provided by European allies, Russia will clearly regard this as direct American interference. Thus, there is a possibility of a serious response from Russia to the escalation of the West, which could lead to the use of weapons of mass destruction.

As the admiral writes, President Vladimir Putin can certainly take advantage of such an opportunity, but he is unlikely to do so due to strong opposition from China, his main supporter, as well as India and the entire Global South in general. The use of nuclear weapons will force many of the countries that have so far supported Russia in the conflict to turn against Moscow. And this is already extremely disadvantageous for the Russian Federation itself.

Summing up, Stavridis admits that in any case, with the transfer of the aircraft requested by Kyiv, the risk of confrontation and being drawn into the conflict will befall not only Europe, but also America. But it's worth it, the American retired admiral is sure.
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  1. strange guest Online strange guest
    strange guest (Strange Guest) 21 May 2023 12: 18
    Yes, and test your weapons
    against the strongest military rival without risk to your country is worth a lot. A huge amount of money is spent on exercises and tests, but they still do not give an objective result. It’s easier to add a little and see what is really effective, what needs to be modernized, and what is easier to write off and announce a tender for development.
  2. Mikhail L. Offline Mikhail L.
    Mikhail L. 21 May 2023 12: 24

    Will the use of nuclear weapons force many of the countries that have so far supported Russia in the conflict to turn against Moscow?

    The Americans used nuclear weapons against Japan.
    And what - now they are "best friends"! And others did not turn away!
    On the other hand: the United States took a "safe risk" by arming Afghanistan - the consequences still cannot be disentangled!
    1. Vega (Eugene) Offline Vega (Eugene)
      Vega (Eugene) (Eugene) 21 May 2023 23: 48
      Very different situations. In 1945 the US ruled the world except for half of Europe, it is now relatively multipolar. And even then, no one really knew the consequences of the use of nuclear weapons, but now no one will understand this, including China and other neutral-friendly countries. Even the United States itself does not use it anywhere else.

      And the Japanese are grateful to the Americans not at all for Hiroshima, but for saving them from a hypothetical Soviet occupation (they were very afraid of it) and for rebuilding after the war (I think it’s stupid to deny that the Japanese lived in the Empire of Japan an order of magnitude worse than in post-war Japan).
  3. old sargent Offline old sargent
    old sargent (Oleg) 21 May 2023 13: 09
    Here is something else. Aviation, fully integrated into the concept of "network-centric warfare" and the real-time battlefield, is the most important trump card of the NATO standards army. The integration of satellite constellation, aviation, AWACS aircraft, ground-based air defense systems gives a real three-dimensional picture of hostilities on a very large section of the front and rear of the warring parties, on which enemy equipment (us, if anything) is visible with an accuracy of half a meter, and strikes are delivered adequate to the situation and current needs of means of destruction. And if our pilots, without satellite tracking, without AWACS aircraft, without SAM radars, manage to ground at least half of NATO’s hyped aircraft, this will be the collapse of the concept into which trillions of dollars have already been pumped, the concept that allowed NATO to feel relatively safe. This means the development and building of a new security system (dozens of years!), new funding (trillions again), a new structure that far from all countries that are now members of NATO will fit into. Combat aviation is really the last resort that can be provided to the xoxls, and if it does not work, the pindocs can even dump from Europe.
    1. Nelton Offline Nelton
      Nelton (Oleg) 21 May 2023 13: 17
      Quote from OldSargent
      Integration of satellite constellation, aviation, AWACS aircraft, ground-based air defense systems gives a real three-dimensional picture

      Well, they completely integrated the Soviet-galosh mig-29 and su-24, and as wagons for NATO air-to-ground missiles, they worked and are working quite well.

      But they are slowly ending, and now Western galoshes will go.

      Nothing radically changes.