Jake Sullivan: Ukraine Not Authorized To Attack Russian Territory with F-16s
May 21, 2023, 2022 (EIRNS)—In a press briefing on May 20 from Hiroshima, U.S. National Security Advisor Jake Sullivan stated that the Biden administration doesn’t support Ukraine’s attacks on Russian territory. The press briefing is posted to the White House website. TASS picked up some of Sullivan’s comments.
During the Q&A, there was this exchange:
“Q: I wanted to ask you a question about the decision to provide training for pilots to operate F-16s. President Biden, in February, did an interview with David Muir of ABC News. And in that particular interview, he said he doesn’t need F-16s now. And then, when he was pressed, he said, ‘There’s no basis upon which there is the rationale, according to our military, now to provide F-16s.’
“Now, I realize you’re not providing F-16s, but you are providing training for those F-16s. What’s changed in any way?
“MR. SULLIVAN: Well, as President Biden said, whether in that interview or right around the same time, we weren’t moving forward then, but he also indicated that we were not taking it off the table.
“Nothing has changed. In fact, our approach to the provision of weapons, material, training to the Ukrainians has followed the exigencies of the conflict....
“But now that we have delivered everything we said we were going to deliver so we put the Ukrainians in a position to make progress on the battlefield through the counteroffensive, we’ve reached a moment where it is time to look down the road and to say, ‘What is Ukraine going to need as part of a future force to be able to deter and defend against Russian aggression as we go forward?’
“F-16 fourth-generation fighter aircraft are part of that mix. The obvious first step there is to do the training and then to work with allies and partners and the Ukrainians to determine how to do the actual provision of planes as we move forward.... [Indicates another reporter]
“Q: Jake, the President’s concern from the beginning had been that F-16s could be used to help escalate this war, to make it a wider conflict. What assurances, if any, has Ukraine given the United States that they would not use these F-16s or fighter jets in offensive fashion that would target Russian soil?
“MR. SULLIVAN: So, all of the capabilities that the United States has proven to Ukraine come with the basic proposition that the United States is not enabling or supporting attacks on Russian territory. That will go for the support for the provision of F-16s by any party as well.
“And the Ukrainians have consistently indicated that they are prepared to follow through on that. And, in fact, we have seen them follow through on that with the provision of Western equipment when we have given it to them.”
So, are we now to trust armies with Nazi contingents to cross their hearts and promise not to launch an attack on Russian territory? Is that really why F-16s would be brought into the mix?