Ukraine could provide the US with military bases in exchange for a land lease - Karber
The United States needs its Air Force presented in the Black Sea region because of the militarization and aggressive policy of the Russian Federation, so the possibility of using the infrastructure and military bases of the Air Force of Ukrainian Armed Forces to monitor the situation would allow the United States to land lease for Ukraine.
The president of the Potomac Foundation analytical fund, an expert on defense strategy and national security Philip Karber announced this, Ukrinform reports.
"Because of Russia's aggressive behavior in the region, especially regarding the militarization of the Black Sea region, the United States and NATO need their Air Force presented in this region. And from this point of view, Ukrainian bases, airfields used by the Air Force of Ukraine, are extremely important for such an air presence.
Especially in connection with the unfortunate development of events in Belarus, when we understand Belarus is becoming part of Russia, and thus, a Russian dagger aimed at the heart of Warsaw. We understand that the United States also needs an air presence across the border, at least to monitor the situation on an ongoing basis and be able to detect and prevent military threats at an early stage," Karber said.
At the same time, he stressed that when talking about Ukrainian airfields and bases that could be used by the US Air Force, it was, of course, not about their permanent location on Ukraine's territory.
"The point is that the Ukrainian air and air infrastructure must be developed and able to receive American Armed Forces aircraft if necessary, including for temporary flights to conduct air reconnaissance and assess the situation.
In essence, what Ukraine can offer is the United States using Ukraine's airspace and the infrastructure of the Armed Forces of Ukraine for such joint patrols," the expert explained.
When asked what Ukraine could get in return, Karber said the land lease was possible, including delivery of F-15 (McDonnell Douglas F-15 Eagle – ed.), F-16 (General Dynamics F-16) Fighting Falcon (ed.), A-10 (Fairchild-Republic A-10 Thunderbolt II – ed.), AN-64 combat helicopters (McDonnell Douglas AH-64 Apache – ed.) to Ukraine because now the US Air Force was conducting replacement of a significant number of aircraft in excellent technical condition, still having a sufficient number of flight hours, but they'd be sent for conservation.
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In addition, the expert believes that Ukraine needs the American anti-aircraft missile system Patriot.
"If the United States has the potential to use the infrastructure of the Air Force of the Armed Forces of Ukraine, then there's a need to protect such infrastructure. In that case, the United States could provide such missile protection," Karber said.
He noted the importance of Ukraine in terms of global security and recalled the responsibility of the United States, which "dragged Ukraine into the Budapest format," as a result of which it lost the status of a nuclear state.
"Of course, the United States must be held accountable for the security situation in Ukraine," the expert concluded.
The analyst believes that Ukraine should officially become a strategic partner of the United States, and not a "main ally outside NATO," as this status would provide military assistance to Ukraine.
A strong Ukraine is needed to stabilize Eastern Europe, Karber concluded.