President Joe Biden’s administration has been a top promoter of the Ukraine War but the White House has insisted—since the outset—that American troops will not fight Russia in Ukraine and will not provide weapons seen as a red line by Russia.
In March 2022, Biden was asked about Russia’s invasion of Ukraine and the U.S.’s response. The president said, “The idea that we’re going to send in offensive equipment and have planes and tanks and trains going in with American pilots and American crews, just understand, that’s called World War III, OK?”
Biden said a year later, during a visit to Warsaw, that the U.S. wants Ukraine to expel Russian forces from the country and Washington will continue to do all it can to provide Kyiv with the weapons needed to win.
“The United States and the nations of Europe do not seek to control or destroy Russia. The West was not plotting to attack Russia, as Putin said today,” Biden said at the time. “And millions of Russian citizens who only want to live in peace with their neighbors are not the enemy.”
Biden said Putin could end the war “with a word.”
But since Biden said the U.S. would not provide offensive weapons, the U.S. has approved weapons that have crossed Russian red lines from guided rockets to drones. Russia has never presented a list identifying what it sees as clear red lines, but Western countries have said Ukraine assured them any weapon provided would not be used to strike Russia.
There have been disagreements in the West about what weapons would be acceptable. The U.K., for example, has provided Ukraine with its Storm Shadow cruise missile with a range of nearly 200 miles, which eclipses the U.S.-provided HIMARS that have a 50-mile range. These missiles were also reportedly modified so they cannot reach deep inside Russia.
The U.S. has, thus far, refused to provide its Army Tactical Missile System, or ATACMS, that has about the same range. We have reported extensively on how the U.S. has approved weapons for Ukraine that were once unthinkable. (See “UKRAINE’S ‘DREAM’ COMES TRUE, RECEIVES NATO PATRIOT MISSILES FOR AIR DEFENSE” 25 Apr 2023, “SPAIN, U.S. GET TANKS READY FOR UKRAINE IN ANTICIPATION OF NEW OFFENSIVE” 25 Apr 2023, and “U.S. AT WAR WITH RUSSIA: WASHINGTON PROVIDES COORDINATES FOR UKRAINIAN HIMARS STRIKES, REPORT SAYS.”)
Alexei Arbatov, a foreign and security policy expert, said in February 2023 that “NATO countries are not directly involved in the conflict, although they supply weapons, and Russia does not strike at NATO countries.”
Up until last week, the White House was mum on F-16s for Ukraine, even though—leaks out of Washington as early as January noted these fourth-generation fighters were being discussed.
The Pentagon said on Sunday that it has provided Ukraine with a total of $38 billion in security assistance to Ukraine “since the beginning of the Biden Administration, including more than $37.3 billion since the invasion on 24 February 2022.”
Russia has said that Western countries are not waging a proxy war with Russia and—through weapons transfers, training, and intelligence—are actively waging war with Moscow. (See “READY TO DIE FOR UKRAINE? RUSSIA WARNS OF NUCLEAR ANNIHILATION” 28 Feb 2023, “RFK JR. AGREES WITH CELENTE: U.S. PUSHED RUSSIA INTO UKRAINE WAR” 9 May 2023, “PUTIN: NATO/U.S. AT WAR WITH RUSSIA” 21 Feb 2023 and “RUSSIA: U.S. CONDUCTING ‘TOTAL’ HYBRID WAR, PUTTING TWO NUCLEAR POWERS ON PATH TO CLASH” 14 Feb 2023.)
Deputy Foreign Minister Sergei Ryabkov said the U.S.’s military support for Ukraine has brought on an unprecedented crisis that resulted in no room for diplomacy.
Ryabkov told reporters that “we have a very deep and unprecedented crisis in Russia-U.S. relations. The Biden administration has driven them into a deadlock.”
TREND FORECAST: As we had forecast, the more weapons supplied to Ukraine the longer the war will drag on and the more of Ukraine will be destroyed. Again, Russia has some 20 percent more Ukrainian territory than they had before their invasion and some 70 percent of Ukraine’s power and water infrastructure have been destroyed.
Biden has insisted that the U.S. is not a participant in the war, even though it has provided Ukraine with some $120 billion in military weapons and aid.
But the delivery of these F-16s would no longer hide the fact that the U.S. is actively engaged in the conflict, according to VK Thakur, a veteran Indian Air Force fighter pilot, who spoke with the Eurasian Times.
We have noted that the U.S. and other Western countries are growing bolder in their support for Ukraine because they believe that the Russian threat to use tactical nuclear weapons in the country is not high. Weapons like the Patriot air defense systems and M1 Abrams tanks were once considered a no-go but have since been deployed.
But Biden’s position is that these weapons cannot be considered “offensive” because if Russian troops leave, the “war would be over.”