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IPFS News Link • Foreign Policy

Buchanan: How Solid Are US War Guarantees?

• by Pat Buchanan

America would provide F-16s to replace the MiGs.

Poland had an even better idea. Warsaw would fly its 27 MiG fighter jets to the U.S. Ramstein Air Force Base in Germany. The planes would be turned over to the Americans there, repainted and flown to Ukraine.

How to get the MiGs to Ukraine's pilots would be left to the Americans.

Now, as Russian President Vladimir Putin has said that a NATO "no-fly zone" over Ukraine would be an act of war, and NATO intervention could escalate to nuclear war, Warsaw's proposal raised instant American alarms.

The Poles seemed, in the old cliche, to be putting the monkey on our back, having the Americans take the primary risk of defying a specific warning of Putin.

Pentagon spokesman John Kirby splashed cold water all over the Poles' idea:

"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."

According to The Washington Post, CIA Director William Burns was at the same time warning the House intelligence committee that Putin's nuclear saber-rattling is of concern, because of Moscow's military doctrine of "escalate to de-escalate" during a regional conflict.

Russia, said Burns, will use tactical nuclear strikes "in extremis" if its forces fail to pacify Ukraine and the U.S. and NATO join the war.

Yet, the Poles' MiG plan, now dead, is revealing for what it says about us.