For weeks there have been rumors and widespread reports that the United States is close to starting a formal training program for Ukrainian pilots in order to better combat superior Russian aerial forces.
But amid the weapons bonanza being offered and shipped from Washington to Kiev, it was also reported that fighter jets were never on the table – not even from allies.
This is particularly so after in March a proposal for Poland to send its own MiG-29 fighters to Ukraine, which Ukrainian pilots are already trained on, fell through in a bizarre and somewhat diplomatically embarrassing way, given Warsaw prematurely claimed the White House had agreed to replace its donated MiGs with F-16 jets. The Biden administration then rejected that any agreement was made, and the whole fighter jets for Ukraine initiative appeared shelved. But now fresh words from Air Force Secretary Frank Kendall have revived speculation the Biden administration is intensely mulling jet transfers.