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Biden’s Posturing On Polish Migs Further Undermines Credibility

Posted on Thursday, March 10, 2022
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AMAC Exclusive – By Daniel Berman

Polish

When it comes to audacity, few geopolitical moves top Warsaw’s announcement on Tuesday that Poland was prepared to transfer all 28 of its Mig-29 fighters to the United States, delivering them to the U.S. Airbase in Ramstein, Germany, from which Ukrainian pilots could presumably fly them into combat. After more than ten days when the European Union, Washington, and even the Ukrainians themselves repeatedly stated that the Poles were on the verge of transferring the aircraft to Ukraine only to force denials out of Warsaw, the Polish government had enough. They called the bluff of the United States. Ukraine may or may not receive those Migs, but the Biden administration can no longer pretend that it is the Poles who are standing in the way. The whole sordid affair says a lot about how the Biden administration conducts diplomacy, resorting to a mixture of passive-aggressive leaks against allies, blaming them for American inaction. Biden did this in Afghanistan, and again with Germany in the leadup to the current conflict. We can thank the Poles for exposing it.

To fully grasp the audacity of what Poland did, it is important to pay attention not just to the U.S. response, in which a flustered John Kirby worried that “the prospect of fighter jets at the disposal of the Government of the United States of America’ departing from a U.S./NATO base in Germany to fly into airspace that is contested with Russia over Ukraine raises serious concerns for the entire NATO alliance,” and said that “it is simply not clear to us that there is a substantive rationale for it.” We must also examine the history of a proposal which a mere 24 hours earlier, Secretary of State Blinken explicitly endorsed in Warsaw, offering U.S. replacements for Polish aircraft that went to Ukraine.

The first thing to understand about the “Migs” proposal is that it was always of dubious relevance. The premise was that the Ukrainians, fighting an uphill battle against the Russian air force, would receive transfers of Soviet aircraft from surplus Warsaw Pact stockpiles.

From the start, this limited the quantity of aircraft available, their quality, and the potential sources. The last serious deliveries of aircraft to the Warsaw Pact states occurred almost 35 years ago, and the most modern aircraft involved, the Mig-29 fighter, is widely considered to be inferior to the Sukhoi-27 in use by the Ukrainians, or the more modern Sukhois used by the Russians. China declined to purchase the Mig-29s following the fall of the Soviet Union, holding out for the superior Sukhois, which means the proposal involved aircraft that were inferior to the ones Ukraine already operates. Furthermore, many of the Migs were retired. The most modern variant of the Mig-29 is the Mig-29K operated by Russia and India with almost entirely overhauled electronics, making it functionally an entirely new aircraft. By contrast, the Polish aircraft, originally acquired from East German inventories, are the already downgraded UB model. The Polish Mig-29UBs would be no match for Russian Mig-29Ks, nor modern Suhkois.

The proposal floated by the Biden administration, however, always seemed to be more about doing something, and in particular “something” about Ukraine’s lack of airpower, which played on the propaganda success of the “Ghost of Kyiv” and avoided discussions of “No Fly Zones.” The proposal was therefore always more attractive to the powers which would have to enforce any such “No Fly Zones,” the United States and Western Europe, than it was to countries like Poland, Slovakia, or Romania, which would have to transfer the aircraft in question. What is strange about the proposal is that it was consistently announced by actors who had no power to make it occur.

The European Union first announced it would purchase weapons for Ukraine, including fighters, on February 27th. The following day, Josep Borrell, the E.U. Defense Chief, stated that an agreement had been reached to transfer fighter jets to Ukraine, and a Ukrainian government official posted on Facebook that Ukrainian pilots were already on their way to Polish airbases to pick up the jets. This prompted a denial the following day from the Poles, who indicated they had not been consulted.

The clear public implication, encouraged by E.U. sources, was that a deal had been reached by the E.U., the Ukrainians were on their way to pick up their aircraft, and at the last minute, the Poles had “chickened” out. While this may have been plausible once, it is worth considering a different possibility. At no point did any Polish government official ever indicate they were on board with the idea. A senior E.U. official made the announcement, followed by a Ukrainian official. It seems very possible in light of both the E.U.’s own efforts to scapegoat and demonize the Warsaw government, and how this story played out in the last few days with the United States, that the entire affair was an effort was designed to place the blame for the collapse of a plan which was never serious, and would not have accomplished much if it had been carried out, solely on the shoulders of the controversial nationalist government in Warsaw.

The best evidence for this interpretation is Warsaw’s response when the United States tried the exact same gambit. Starting over the weekend, senior U.S. officials began floating a “3-way trade” in which Poland would transfer its Mig-29s to Ukraine, and in exchange, Poland would receive modern US F-16s. On Sunday, Secretary of State Anthony Blinken told CNN, “We are working with Poland as we speak to see if we can backfill anything that they provide to the Ukrainians.”

The Polish experience in the past has been that the E.U., Ukraine, and now the United States enjoy talking a lot about the prospect of the Poles transferring aircraft, but relish forcing the Poles to kill abstract and hypothetical proposals. That seems to be the context in which the Poles decided that two could play that game. Thus the announcement on Tuesday morning that they would transfer all 28 of their Mig-29s to the U.S. at Ramstein airbase. It is significant that they offered all of their planes. One of the justifications provided by both the E.U. and U.S. for why “talks were ongoing” was that the Poles were “reluctant” to give up a large portion of their air force in the face of a Russian threat. By offering all of their Migs, the Poles demonstrated this was a made-up talking point on the part of the Americans and Europeans.

The reality was that the United States, Germany, and other E.U. states had no desire to take upon themselves any of the risks they were pushing Poland to take. They were happy for Poland to transfer the aircraft if they could magically show up in Ukraine, but the United States and Germany were unwilling to take ownership even for a few hours, much less let them be stored within their territory.

The conclusion that can be drawn from the U.S. response is that the proposals were never serious. The Biden administration, much like the European Union, was determined to pretend that there was a serious effort to get Ukraine jets while ensuring that the “cowardly” Poles who they had never liked would take the fall for these plans never materializing. Now they have no one to blame but themselves.

On a wider level, there are some similarities here to the way the Biden administration tried to counter British and European criticism of the U.S. withdrawal from Afghanistan by accusing the Europeans of pulling out too early themselves. Or how the White House clearly wished for Germany to act as the villain in preventing a united front on sanctions that might have deterred Russian action by at least threatening to impose the sanctions which were imposed anyway. The Poles have called Biden’s team out on their blame-shifting, but Warsaw was far from the only victim of this sort of behavior.

Daniel Roman is the pen name of a frequent commentator and lecturer on foreign policy and political affairs, both nationally and internationally. He holds a Ph.D. in International Relations from the London School of Economics.    

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CoNMTX
CoNMTX
2 years ago

It’s pointless to listen to anything spoken by our so-called “president”. Anything he says is either a complete lie or something he says because his brain suddenly takes a nap and this is what he mumbles incoherently. Lies, mumbles, incoherence, the hallmarks of Biden.

PaulE
PaulE
2 years ago

This is what weak and ineffective leaders do. When I heard the supposed justifications that came from Blinken and the Pentagon, I had to laugh. Seriously, why not just hang a 100 foot neon sign up on the White House that says “We stand with Putin”. This administration had nearly a full year to send any sort of armaments Ukraine was requesting to them. Yet all this administration did was drag its feet non-stop, come up with ludicrous reasons why they couldn’t do something and then state repeatedly that it looks like Putin is going to invade.

Robert Greving
Robert Greving
2 years ago

why don’t we start an offensive in the Russia territory? Instead of just defense of Ukraine? Let’s hit Moscow, maybe that will get Putin’s attention. Oh, that’s right I forgot, Biden and his son are in control!!!!

Robert g
Robert g
2 years ago

If Biden didn’t stop the oil production in our own country, we would not be relying on opec or russia for our oil. Ya that’s why we are paying at the pump!!!!!!!!!!!!

Donna Kinney
Donna Kinney
2 years ago

Credibility and Biden and his cronies in the same sentence is hysterical. This man has less chance of being considered credible as I do of becoming 20 again (none). He made this mess and he needs the republicans making a serious issue that he fix it. Sooner rather than later. It is hard to believe so much damage had been done to our country in such a short time. It makes you wonder if the voters on the other side are having any regret’s.

MIKE
MIKE
2 years ago

How can someone undermine something that does not exist? Biden credibility???? I just read the company behind the pipeline says it’s DEAD!!! Will not and cannot be restarted. LET’S GO, BRANDON!

Jeb
Jeb
2 years ago

Is joeblow just catching up with the discussion of the MIGs? LOL

anna hubert
anna hubert
2 years ago

is Putin sending a message that he will not be playing on any team of which he is not the captain that his name is Putin not Biden do’n’t anybody forget that

Arthur D Ferguson
Arthur D Ferguson
2 years ago

John Kirby is a woke fool, which in itself explains why he is a Biden Disciple! I am still laughing at Kirby’s statement that there was a question of “substantive rationale” for the transfer of the MIGS to Ukraine. I think families and witnesses to the slaughter of Ukranian civilians understand the rationale REAL CLEARLY!

Steven Meisels
Steven Meisels
2 years ago

Biden is just a big mouth with no brains or backbone.

mark
mark
2 years ago

I am a true fan of what Trump did and was doing for this country of ours,i damn sure hate what the dems have done and will do to our country before they are out ,,, but for you people to say the dems should do things to get us into a outright war with Putin , is the most stupid thing ive heard out of trumpers or republicans or whatever you call your selves ,, those plane could easily be flown into to Poland and delivered to the Ukraine forces , get a damn grip on reality people we dont need nukes landing in our yard..

Stephen Russell
Stephen Russell
2 years ago

Ukraine wants those Migs, send them over
& other arms, Intel & supplies

Carm
Carm
2 years ago

We must face the facts: Biden is compromised in so many ways — his grifting of American adversaries whom he is now repaying in spades, his inept governance, his lack of diplomatic savvy, his grossly incompetent administration, his dependence on the good will of the Socialists in his party for whom he is bent over, his disintegration, his obvious lying and cover-ups. Biden was never the sharpest blade and now he is the dullest. It is an embarrassment and extreme frustration within our country and to the world to watch the takedown of the U.S. via such incompetence (or is it treachery?). Moreover, we have no one to turn to in the Democrat Party to take over should we be able to oust him. His handlers all know this and go their merry way to our destruction. November can’t come soon enough but I fear so much unfixable damage will have already been done.

Morbious
Morbious
2 years ago

With bidens three dimensional chess the usa loses every time

Patty
Patty
2 years ago

If it’s credibility you’re looking for….
Biden & his administration is the worst kind of bet.

jake the snake
jake the snake
2 years ago

Biden and all democrats are just sleazy asswipes looking to enrich themselves at the expense of others.

Even now you can bet biden has people trying to figure out how biden inc can make money off of this war.

Sense they put all their money in the covid shot stocks they do not have money in military stocks so they are probably rushing to get some before they let any munitions get used up.

Splish_Splash
Splish_Splash
2 years ago

POOPY PANTS JOEY HAS DEMENTIA IN ADDITIONS TO BEING A MANIAC! GOOD LUCK AMERICA!

CoNMTX
CoNMTX
2 years ago

Biden has NO credibility to undermine. He also has zero honesty, integrity, morals, or character to defame, undermine or make fun of. He is a Godless, lying, satanic piece of garbage that needs to be put by the curb for pickup.

Alan Seitel
Alan Seitel
2 years ago

Everything that Biden administration is done shows that they favor one side this war – Russia.

Hal
Hal
2 years ago

When you don’t have a clue in his/;her own life experience of doing the right thing in maintaining your reliabiliaty and trust in making big decisions, being elected President when you should be residing in a nursing home for the elderly,will not help anyone and probably do more harm than good. Biden doen’t really realize that Putin has finally exposed himself as a Hitler syndrome puppet who believes he his God!! …. when in truth, he is a self serving crooked politician and plagiarist that serves his personal first , his party second. and to Hades with all others. Thanks Delunawar for promoting this horror of a man to lead this Nation….NOT.

Hal
Hal
2 years ago

Well, my reliability as to Joe Hindin’ Biden has not been slidin’ down at all of late. …. It was rock bottom already before he ever thought about running for POTUS!

Rick
Rick
2 years ago

“Never underestimate the ability of Brandon to ____ things up!” -Obama

GTPatriot
GTPatriot
2 years ago

This is an important topic, I realize. A key question I have is why, over the past 3 weeks during the
invasion of Ukraine, I cannot get any information on Trump. I have watched CNN daily for 5 years because they have religiously covered Trump but they have told me nothing for 3 weeks. What is Trump doing ? Does he need his own network ?

John
John
2 years ago

I know a guy who has some old Sopwith Camels a PT-19 trainer and some old pinball parts. Maybe Joe will send them over. I overheard Blinken telling one of his aides to ship all the rubber-band airplanes they can find.
I really don’t want a World War but tactically I don’t think China will budge, Soviet troops are not fully engaged mentally. Russian people are pretty savvy to Putin.
HE is The WILDCARD! If unstable, PRAY some of his own do the right thing. There is no easy answer with conflicts. Is it in our foolish nature to just have at it every 75-100 years or so? That’s one for the headshrinkers for ya.

Garye
Garye
2 years ago

Weak and pathetic joebama and the marxist democrat party don’t have a clue about foreign policy that can work!
Why are they negotiating with dictators and terrorist regimes?
How is it that all countries that are our enemies seem to have some dirt on obama ,biden,clinton and democrats?
The pay off of iran in secrecy by obama,clintons collude with russia, bribe bidens son,
and now a secret bio-lab in the Ukraine surfaces????
Are these corrupt, arrogant, America haters are even DIRTIER than everyone thought???
Why is the media continuing to hide all these marxist democrat lies????
We need elected officials who will expose and prosecute these criminals, not to cover their corruption!

Wanda
Wanda
2 years ago

Where are all the Biden supporters…you know the ones that committed voter fraud to put this illegal president in the White House? We need your input….how much has Biden helped you since he cheated his way into the White House? Aren’t there any braggers out there….or have you had voter remorse and now wish you could hear a mean tweet? If Trump was still in the White House, none of this crap would be happening because Putin respected Trump and was a little afraid of what Trump would do….but like any wolf after sheep, he sees Brandon’s weakness and knows nothing will be done to stop him.

Art
Art
2 years ago

FURTHER UNDERMINES CREDIBILITY? The credibility of Joe Biden,Pete Buttguage,and all of the other Idiots in the merry band that comprises this administration is being undermined???? How much credibility did they start with? In my opinion,it was about a much as the thickness of a sheet of plastic wrap. Not much of a cushion.

Nick Patriot
Nick Patriot
2 years ago

Comrade Obiden couldn’t lead a cub scout troop through Walmart.

Enuf Said
Enuf Said
2 years ago

What credibility?

Phil
Phil
2 years ago

If we don’t get rid of sloppy Joe and his comrades soon there won’t be anything left of America. He is a total F..up, has no idea what’s going on and blames everyone else for his mistakes. God help us.

Robin Walter Boyd
Robin Walter Boyd
2 years ago

Biden’s handlers, Progressive billionaires and Chinese Communists, are between a rock and a hard place with Ukraine. They don’t want their dirty secrets in Ukraine being known, but they don’t want to lose a major money laundering nation.

Carrie L
Carrie L
2 years ago

Generally not a fan of conspiracy theories, but has anyone thought that Biden won’t send the MiGs because Putin has dirt on him and his family?

CoNMTX
CoNMTX
2 years ago

It’s pointless to listen to anything spoken by our so-called “president”. Anything he says is either a complete lie or something he says because his brain suddenly takes a nap and this is what he mumbles incoherently. Lies, mumbles, incoherence, the hallmarks of Biden.

PaulE
PaulE
2 years ago

This is what weak and ineffective leaders do. When I heard the supposed justifications that came from Blinken and the Pentagon, I had to laugh. Seriously, why not just hang a 100 foot neon sign up on the White House that says “We stand with Putin”. This administration had nearly a full year to send any sort of armaments Ukraine was requesting to them. Yet all this administration did was drag its feet non-stop, come up with ludicrous reasons why they couldn’t do something and then state repeatedly that it looks like Putin is going to invade.

Robert Greving
Robert Greving
2 years ago

why don’t we start an offensive in the Russia territory? Instead of just defense of Ukraine? Let’s hit Moscow, maybe that will get Putin’s attention. Oh, that’s right I forgot, Biden and his son are in control!!!!

Robert g
Robert g
2 years ago

If Biden didn’t stop the oil production in our own country, we would not be relying on opec or russia for our oil. Ya that’s why we are paying at the pump!!!!!!!!!!!!

Donna Kinney
Donna Kinney
2 years ago

Credibility and Biden and his cronies in the same sentence is hysterical. This man has less chance of being considered credible as I do of becoming 20 again (none). He made this mess and he needs the republicans making a serious issue that he fix it. Sooner rather than later. It is hard to believe so much damage had been done to our country in such a short time. It makes you wonder if the voters on the other side are having any regret’s.

MIKE
MIKE
2 years ago

How can someone undermine something that does not exist? Biden credibility???? I just read the company behind the pipeline says it’s DEAD!!! Will not and cannot be restarted. LET’S GO, BRANDON!

Jeb
Jeb
2 years ago

Is joeblow just catching up with the discussion of the MIGs? LOL

anna hubert
anna hubert
2 years ago

is Putin sending a message that he will not be playing on any team of which he is not the captain that his name is Putin not Biden do’n’t anybody forget that

Arthur D Ferguson
Arthur D Ferguson
2 years ago

John Kirby is a woke fool, which in itself explains why he is a Biden Disciple! I am still laughing at Kirby’s statement that there was a question of “substantive rationale” for the transfer of the MIGS to Ukraine. I think families and witnesses to the slaughter of Ukranian civilians understand the rationale REAL CLEARLY!

Steven Meisels
Steven Meisels
2 years ago

Biden is just a big mouth with no brains or backbone.

mark
mark
2 years ago

I am a true fan of what Trump did and was doing for this country of ours,i damn sure hate what the dems have done and will do to our country before they are out ,,, but for you people to say the dems should do things to get us into a outright war with Putin , is the most stupid thing ive heard out of trumpers or republicans or whatever you call your selves ,, those plane could easily be flown into to Poland and delivered to the Ukraine forces , get a damn grip on reality people we dont need nukes landing in our yard..

Stephen Russell
Stephen Russell
2 years ago

Ukraine wants those Migs, send them over
& other arms, Intel & supplies

Carm
Carm
2 years ago

We must face the facts: Biden is compromised in so many ways — his grifting of American adversaries whom he is now repaying in spades, his inept governance, his lack of diplomatic savvy, his grossly incompetent administration, his dependence on the good will of the Socialists in his party for whom he is bent over, his disintegration, his obvious lying and cover-ups. Biden was never the sharpest blade and now he is the dullest. It is an embarrassment and extreme frustration within our country and to the world to watch the takedown of the U.S. via such incompetence (or is it treachery?). Moreover, we have no one to turn to in the Democrat Party to take over should we be able to oust him. His handlers all know this and go their merry way to our destruction. November can’t come soon enough but I fear so much unfixable damage will have already been done.

Morbious
Morbious
2 years ago

With bidens three dimensional chess the usa loses every time

Patty
Patty
2 years ago

If it’s credibility you’re looking for….
Biden & his administration is the worst kind of bet.

jake the snake
jake the snake
2 years ago

Biden and all democrats are just sleazy asswipes looking to enrich themselves at the expense of others.

Even now you can bet biden has people trying to figure out how biden inc can make money off of this war.

Sense they put all their money in the covid shot stocks they do not have money in military stocks so they are probably rushing to get some before they let any munitions get used up.

Splish_Splash
Splish_Splash
2 years ago

POOPY PANTS JOEY HAS DEMENTIA IN ADDITIONS TO BEING A MANIAC! GOOD LUCK AMERICA!

CoNMTX
CoNMTX
2 years ago

Biden has NO credibility to undermine. He also has zero honesty, integrity, morals, or character to defame, undermine or make fun of. He is a Godless, lying, satanic piece of garbage that needs to be put by the curb for pickup.

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