Sullivan: Biden Continues Predictable Pattern of Weakness, Belatedly Approves Allied F-16s to Ukraine
WASHINGTON—U.S. Senator Dan Sullivan (R-Alaska), a member of the Senate Armed Services Committee (SASC), today released the following statement responding to reports that President Joe Biden has approved a plan to train Ukrainian pilots on F-16 fighter jets and for U.S. allies to provide the fourth-generation fighters, signaling a clear reversal from the Biden administration’s year-long rejection of the aid. Sullivan said the Biden administration has engaged in a predictable pattern, slow-rolling or outright denying vitally-needed weapon systems to the Ukrainians, only to buckle under pressure from Congress and America’s allies months later. In an interview on NBC’s Meet the Press in February, Sullivan warned the same pattern would play out with the F-16s.
“Well, that was predictable. Like the Biden administration has done with every single important weapon system slated to help Ukraine defend itself, it delayed and delayed the F-16s until pressure from Democratic and Republican Senators and our NATO allies made it impossible to delay any further,” said Senator Sullivan. “Perhaps the silver lining from this latest months-long, misguided and unnecessary delay is that the top Biden official who has slow-rolled every weapon system imaginable to Ukraine—Undersecretary of Defense Colin Kahl—is resigning. With Kahl leaving, perhaps the administration will finally wake up to the idea of getting the Ukrainians the weapon systems they need—when they need them—to fight and win this war.”
- On June 23, 2022, Sen. Sullivan hosted Ukrainian fighter pilots in D.C. to meet with several Senators. The Ukrainians detailed what military aid was needed to defend Ukrainian cities and military installations, and go on the offensive against Russian forces, which included F-16s.
- On July 15, 2022, Sen. Sullivan led a bipartisan letter to Chairman of the Joint Chiefs General Mark Milley and Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin urging them to consider providing fourth-generation fighters, like the F-16, and necessary flight training to the Ukrainians.
- In an interview on NBC’s Meet the Press in February 2023, Sen. Sullivan warned that President Biden would follow the administration’s pattern of slow-rolling critical military aid to the Ukrainians and belatedly approve providing F-16s and related flight training.
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