F-16 or no F-16, the West is already at war with Russia and China shipped lethal aid to Russia

The United States and the Russian Federation are effectively at war in Ukraine. Joe Biden knows it, and says nothing; Vladimir Putin knows it, and broods.

Whether the U.S. likes it or not, China is already a party to the Ukraine war. China started supplying weapons to Russia, PERIOD.

US Secretary of State Antony Blinken has sent a direct warning to China against providing weaponry to Russian President Vladimir Putin for his war against Ukraine.

Western fighter jets

If successful, President Zelensky’s plea for fighter jets to Ukraine would almost entirely erase the already fading red line between direct and indirect Western involvement in the Ukraine war.

The US and its NATO allies would officially be at war with Russia.

That much is clear.

What is less clear is why President Zelensky wants fighter jets in a war that does not favour manned aircraft.

F-16 fighter jet

The imminent arrival of US warplanes in Ukraine would be the final straw for Russian President Vladimir Putin, pushing him to use battlefield nuclear weapons in the war, writes Professor Joseph M. Siracusa. Pictured are US F-16 fighter jets during a drill over the South Korean peninsula. Picture: South Korean Defense Ministry via Getty Images

After all, it takes a lot of time to ship them, train pilots and find suitable targets.

What’s the point of pushing for an aircraft capability that will arrive late and probably have little impact on the battlefield?

The reason, as Harper’s Magazine’s Washington Editor Andrew Cockburn says, is simple: “Every new system gifted, if only in the form of promises, to the Ukrainian people, deepens Western involvement and makes the war ever-less ‘proxy’ and more of a direct confrontation with a nuclear-armed Russia.”

This is a smart move, as Zelensky plays his last card, while allowing Joe Biden to continue his failed policy of doubling down on Russia.

More importantly, it also exposes the worst kept secret in Washington and Brussels.

Zelensky demands much of NATO because Ukraine has been a de facto member of NATO since at least 2008.

The Ukraine leader knows that fact and has astutely played it to his advantage.

See how they run

There is a very good reason why 30 Western defense ministers drop whatever they are doing and race to NATO Headquarters in Brussels whenever further support for Ukraine is on the table.

They are not there to listen to Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg rail on about Russia’s threat to NATO lands in an ever-more dangerous and uncertain world.

They are there to answer the call of one of their own.

That’s why Zelensky is not overly concerned about formal membership to NATO.

He already has a seat at the table.

Besides, he’s got the US exactly where he wants them, tied up in knots, with no way of retreating.

Biden’s White House minders can’t always walk back things in plain sight.

Putin sees and knows this too.

That’s why the imminent arrival of warplanes would be the final straw for the Kremlin strongman.

“Putin’s restraint in the face of massive military aid to Ukraine has been remarkable,” recently observed veteran international historian Geoffrey Roberts, “but his forbearance may not be boundless.”

Putin has been looking down the collective barrel of 30 countries in NATO, which includes 27 member-countries in the European Union, with no move to expand the conflict.

When will the West learn?

The story that Russia attacked Ukraine as a prelude to attacking NATO is the White House’s cover story to conceal the damage caused by its mindless weaponising of the expansion of the Atlantic alliance to the Russian border.

Roberts has no difficulty imagining Putin’s interruption of Western supplies before they arrive on Ukraine soil, or even neutralising NATO surveillance systems that provide the Ukrainian military with lethal intelligence.

The US is not the only nation that can act with impunity.

It’s all downhill from here as NATO-Russian relations go into a free fall.

It’s terrible news for any kind of fair and just diplomatic solution in Ukraine.

US has ‘reclaimed’ global leadership by standing up to Putin’s invasion

Despite all the fine talk about UN peacekeepers and partitions, such an eventuality has no prospects for success.

It’s also terrible in another way.

The closer the West gets to breaking or even humiliating Russia, the closer Moscow comes to using battlefield nuclear weapons in Ukraine.

The cruel irony is that once Putin goes nuclear in Ukraine, the West, led by Joe Biden will do nothing.

Instead, it would trigger an end-game scenario – forcing Biden to close the war down in a New York minute, forced to admit that a war on the borderlands of America’s arch rival Russia is not worth five minutes of a general nuclear war.

The Biden administration, filled with career Russophobes determined to break Putin, will require a new strategy to co-exist on some issues with Russia, while presumably also standing up to bad behaviour from the Kremlin.

The optimal solution to ending the war in Ukraine is perhaps the only one.

There are no winners or losers in the Ukraine war – just a lot of rubble and dead soldiers and civilians sacrificed on the altar of hubris and failed policies.

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