Poland Moves Ahead

Poland has American support for delivering MiG-29 fighter jets to Ukraine. This is important for collaboration within NATO.

Until now, Poland has followed the same principle with its military aid to Ukraine as has the German government: It has only provided the invaded country with weapons that other NATO member nations were willing to supply. In addition, the Polish leadership did not want to run the risk of making its country the target of a potential Russian act of revenge by acting alone.

Up to now, the difference between Berlin and Warsaw has been primarily in rhetoric. Whereas the German government always urged caution and thus served as a brakeman, the Polish administration often pressed ahead with demands for more, and more modern, weapons for Ukraine.

Not Everything Has to Happen in Lockstep

That all changes with the recent announcement by Polish President Andrzej Duda of an initial delivery of Soviet-era fighter jets “within days.” With this decision, Poland does, in fact, position itself on the front line. But it is taking this step with explicit support from the United States.

That is important — not only for Poland’s security, but also for the unity of the Western alliance. Ukraine’s supporters do not always need to move in lockstep. But decisions about weapons deliveries should continue to be made based on a collective cost-benefit assessment within NATO.

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