(FreedomBeacon.com)- According to a US Air Force analyst, rather than establishing a no-fly zone, the US can best support Ukraine by equipping it with weapons, planes, and components to defend its airspace.
The Ukrainians are fighting with essentially two enormous feathers in their cap: the weapons we provide them with and the morale they can maintain on their own. This is the opinion of John (JV) Venable, a veteran Air Force commander and senior research fellow at the Heritage Foundation.
Venable’s approved strategy is to bolster the Ukrainian morale. We give them victories, allow them to bloody Russia’s nose, and make this a costly enterprise for the Russians by giving Ukraine the necessary weapons.
Ukraine’s tenacious defense of its airspace has helped put its armed forces on a level playing field with Russia. One month into the war, experts are startled that Russia has yet to gain control of the skies over Ukraine and that they appear to be dragging Russia into a stalemate.
A spokesman for the Ukrainian Air Force, Yuriy Ihnat, said that Ukraine has been effective in the sky because they operate on their own land. “The enemy flying into our airspace is flying into the zone of our air defense systems,” said Ihnat.
Ukraine’s strategy is to lure Russian planes into air defense traps. Ukrainian jets ostensibly flee and entice Russian planes into areas where ground forces fire on both sides, annihilating them.
Ukraine’s airspace is still a hot issue of dispute, with President Volodymyr Zelenskyy and his fellow legislators calling for a NATO-enforced no-fly zone. According to some estimates, Ukraine only has about 55 operable fighter jets left. And that number is decreasing.
Meanwhile, amongst American politicians, support for a no-fly zone is still split. President Biden argues that such a move would put the US and its NATO partners in direct conflict with Russia, perhaps triggering WW III.
The United States has also been hesitant to deliver planes to Ukraine, with reports claiming that the Pentagon has rejected Poland’s intention to supply Ukraine with MiG-29 fighters. Venable thinks this is a mistake and that the U.S. needs to step up its efforts to provide Ukraine with the capabilities it needs to push back against Russia, particularly in the air.
Venable emphasized that NATO countries’ javelin and stinger missiles have proven to be the most effective weaponry in Ukraine, but he noted that planes contribute more than simply combat effectiveness. The planes provide a significant morale boost for ground forces.
“Any time you hear a friendly fighter or see one of your own birds flying overhead, and you’re in a firefight, it gives you a surge of energy,” said the strategist.