Liz Truss, the British Foreign Secretary, will today urge NATO to provide warplanes to the Ukraine, something President Zelensky has repeatedly requested. In March, the Poles offered MiG-29 fighter jets but were blocked by the Biden administration. How the Americans expect the Ukrainians to effectively defend themselves without air support is a riddle to be unraveled.
Modern warfare relies heavily on airpower and to deny the Ukraine aircraft is tantamount to condemning it to military defeat, so let us hope Liz Truss will persuade a reluctant NATO to wake up to the threat posed by a resurgent, aggressive Russia.
The news of gas supplies being cut to Poland and Bulgaria shows how urgent it is for the West to commit itself to the defense of democratic states, rather than be cowered by Putin’s threats of potential nuclear war. Putin’s highly publicized and aptly named missile ‘Satan’ is calculated to make us “quake in our boots,” and such mind games have been the stock in trade of the Russian leader, and to give him credit, have proved to be useful in confusing the Western allies.
Now Putin has declared his hand, NATO should brush aside the Russian leader’s bullying rhetoric and get on with the job of supporting the Ukraine before it is too late to rescue that country from annexation. NATO must agree to provide warplanes and to continue to supply much needed weaponry such as ground-to-air missiles and tanks. Without an air force, the Ukraine cannot hope to prevent the destruction of its rail network, a vital infrastructure for bringing much needed supplies to besieged cities. Is this the last call for a recumbent NATO to act in defence not just of the Ukraine but other states that Putin has in his sights?