The White House suggested that there are “clearly logistical challenges” with a proposal from Poland to provide Soviet-era fighter jets to Ukraine.
“Secretary Austin, Chairman Milley and members of our defense department are in touch with Ukrainian counterparts, NATO counterparts, discussing what are clearly logistical challenges here,” White House press secretary Jen Psaki said while offering a status update Wednesday amid uncertainty over how and if to proceed with plans to send jets to Ukraine.
She pointed to a statement from Pentagon press secretary John Kirby Tuesday, saying the Pentagon did not believe Polish proposal was “tenable.”
Kirby “made clear that obviously the proposal from yesterday, that fighter jets manned by Americans departing a NATO base to fly into airspace contested with Russia raises serious concerns for the United States and NATO,” she said.
Psaki cited some of the logistical and operational challenges: getting planes into Ukraine in a way that is not escalatory, potentially having to take the planes apart and putting them back together, and ensuring the planes’ safe movement amid a war.
She later called it a “serious logistical bottleneck,” saying that discussions on the matter are ongoing.
The US, Psaki emphasized, has otherwise “not held back” on military aid to Ukraine, including weapons, anti-missile systems, and tank systems.