Some sharp words and a swift rejection from the Pentagon Tuesday evening: “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,” Pentagon press secretary John Kirby said of the Polish announcement which caught the Biden administration by surprise.
Kirby described the Pentagon perspective on Poland’s earlier in the day declaration that it would send all its Russian-produced MiG-29 jets to Ramstein Air Base in Germany for the United States to be able to transfer them to Ukraine further as follows:
- “It is simply not clear to us that there is a substantive rationale for it,” he added, stressing that the proposal “shows just some of the complexities this issue presents.”
- “We will continue to consult with Poland and our other NATO allies about this issue and the difficult logistical challenges it presents, but we do not believe Poland’s proposal is a tenable one.”
One insightful online commentator quipped of Tuesday’s inter-NATO confusion: “No, one wants to take the responsibility. Poland passed it to the US, and now the US says this is all Poland. What a farce.”
In Senate hearing on Ukraine, Murphy calls it “a curious decision” by Poland to offer planes to US instead of directly to Ukraine.
Victoria Nuland, the undersecretary of State for political affairs, also called it “a surprise”
— Igor Bobic (@igorbobic) March 8, 2022
This level of huge contradiction among allies on such a big development is just a bit awkward and even embarrassing. The Biden administration is saying it was caught completely by “surprise” at Poland’s declaration hours ago that it would send all its Russian-produced MiG-29 jets to Ramstein Air Base in Germany for the United States to be able to transfer them to Ukraine.
While the possible plan was reportedly under consideration for days, it doesn’t appear the White House was notified of Warsaw’s final decision prior to the announcement being declared as a ‘done deal’ via the Polish Ministry of Foreign Affairs website. Apparently for Washington, there was no done deal at all.
“Poland’s decision to put all its MIG-29 jets at the disposal of the United States was not pre-consulted with Washington,” State Department Undersecretary Victoria Nuland said Tuesday in the wake of Poland’s statement. And more:
“To my knowledge, it wasn’t pre-consulted with us that they planned to give these planes to us,” she said at a hearing of Senate Foreign Relations Committee. “I look forward when this hearing is over to getting back to my desk and seeing how we will respond to this proposal of theirs to give the planes to us,” she said.
Here’s how the exchange began:
“I was in a meeting where I ought to have heard about that just before I came (to a Senate hearing), so I think that actually was a surprise move by the Poles,” Undersecretary of State for Political Affairs Victoria Nuland told US lawmakers.
Asked by a senator whether US officials coordinated ahead of time with Poland before Warsaw made its announcement, Nuland said: “Not to my knowledge.”
The official statement from Poland had said, “The authorities of the Republic of Poland, after consultations between the President and the Government, are ready to deploy – immediately and free of charge – all their MIG-29 jets to the Ramstein Air Base and place them at the disposal of the Government of the United States of America.”
Republished from ZeroHedge.com with permission