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U.S. Response to Russia's Invasion of Ukraine

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  • Monash
    Its a good announcement but given this is starting to turn into the 'long grind' so many people predicted I do question how Ukraine is going to be able to juggle is going juggle the demands on a scarce resource (jet jockeys) between ongoing combat duty and extended period abroad being trained on the F-16. Perhaps recruit new pilots and have them trained on Russian jets in Western Europe so they can build up a cadre of 'spare' pilots to off F-16 training? Recruit foreign nationals to fly combat missions?

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  • TopHatter
    Austin hopes F-16 fight jet training for Ukrainian pilots will begin in coming weeks

    WASHINGTON (AP) — Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin said Thursday he hopes that training for Ukrainian pilots on American-made F-16 fighter jets will begin in the coming weeks, bolstering Ukraine in the long run but not necessarily as part of an anticipated spring counteroffensive against Russia.

    Austin spoke as defense leaders from around the world assembled for a virtual meeting to discuss the ongoing military support for Ukraine. They were expected talk about which countries will provide F-16s, and how and where the pilot training will be done.

    The officials will also get an update on the war effort from Ukrainian leaders, including preparation for that anticipated counteroffensive and how the allies, who have faced their own stockpile pressures, can continue to support Kyiv's fight against Russia.

    “We’re going to have to dig deeper, and we’re going to have to continue to look for creative ways to boost our industrial capability,” Austin said before the military leaders began their closed session. “The stakes are high. But the cause is just and our will is strong.”

    European countries have said they are talking about which countries may have some of the F-16s available. The United States had long balked at providing the advanced aircraft to Ukraine, and only last weekend did President Joe Biden agree to allow other nations to send their own U.S.-made jets to Kyiv.

    “We hope this training will begin in the coming weeks,” Austin said. “This will further strengthen and improve the capabilities of the Ukrainian Air Force in the long term. And it will complement our short-term and medium-term security agreements. This new joint effort sends a powerful message about our unity and our long-term commitment to Ukraine’s self-defense.”

    The leaders will also likely discuss Ukraine's other continuing military needs, including air defense systems and munitions, artillery and other ammunition.

    It was not immediately clear whether they will make any firm decisions on the F-16 issue, but initial steps have begun.

    Josep Borrell, the European Union’s foreign policy chief, said Tuesday that training for Ukrainian pilots had begun in Poland and some other countries, though Polish Defense Minister Mariusz Blaszczak said training was still in the planning phase. The Netherlands and Denmark, among others, are also making plans for training.

    “We can continue and also finalize the plans that we’re making with Denmark and other allies to start these these trainings. And of course, that is the first step that you have to take,” Dutch Defense Minister Kajsa Ollongren said, adding that initial discussions about who may have F-16s available to send is underway.

    Ukraine has long sought the sophisticated fighter to give it a combat edge as it battles Russia’s invasion, now in its second year.

    The Biden administration's decision was a sharp reversal after refusing to approve any transfer of the aircraft or conduct training for more than a year because of worries that doing so could escalate tensions with Russia. U.S. officials also had argued against the F-16 by saying that learning to fly and logistically support such an advanced aircraft would be difficult and take months.

    Air Force Brig. Gen. Pat Ryder, the Pentagon press secretary, said this week that the U.S. decision on the F-16 was part of a broader long-term commitment to meet Ukraine's future military needs. He said the jets would not be relevant in any counteroffensive expected to begin shortly.

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  • TopHatter
    Half of US public approves of Washington's arms deliveries to Ukraine in 2nd year of Russia's war

    FILE - Airmen with the 436th Aerial Port Squadron place 155 mm shells on aircraft pallets ultimately bound for Ukraine, April 29, 2022, at Dover Air Force Base, Del

    WASHINGTON (AP) — Like the blue and yellow flags that popped up around the U.S. when Russia invaded Ukraine 15 months ago, U.S. popular support for Washington's backing of Ukraine has faded a little but remains widespread, a survey by the University of Chicago's Harris School of Public Policy and NORC shows.

    It found that half of the people in the U.S. support the Pentagon's ongoing supply of weapons to Ukraine for its defense against Russian forces. That level is nearly unchanged in the past year, while about a quarter are opposed to sustaining the military lifeline that has now topped $37 billion.

    Big majorities among both Democrats and Republicans believe Russia's attack on Ukraine was unjustified, according to the poll, taken last month.

    And about three out of four people in the U.S. support the United States playing at least some role in the conflict, the survey found.

    The findings are in line with what Ukraine's ambassador says she sees when she makes appearances at think tanks, fancy dinners, embassy parties and other events to rally vital U.S. backing for her country.

    “I feel the support is still strong,” Ambassador Oksana Markarova said, even as tensions with China, domestic politics, mass shootings and other news often top Ukraine's war in U.S. news coverage these days.

    “There are other things happening at the same time," she said. "But I feel the very strong bipartisan support.”

    When it comes to specific kinds of U.S. backing for Ukraine, popular support for U.S. sanctions against Russia has experienced the most significant drop, falling from 71% a year ago to 58% this spring, although that's still a majority.

    The decline in support for the sanctions may reflect people’s concern that the efforts to isolate Russia economically have contributed to inflation, analysts said.

    Overall, however, the findings show that a couple of early concerns U.S. policymakers had about the strong material assistance for Ukraine have yet to be realized: that public support would crater if the war dragged on, and that the heavy assistance to Ukraine would become a partisan wedge issue, splitting Democrats and Republicans.

    “There’s no ground-swelling of American Ukraine fatigue here, and that has always been the fear," said Samuel Charap, a senior political scientist at the RAND Corp. research center.

    For Cameron Hill, a 27-year-old state employee and Republican in Anadarko, Oklahoma, there was much to dislike about Russia's war and its leader, Vladimir Putin: the statements from Putin that Hill took as misleading propaganda, his heavy-handed rule, and Russian fighters' attacks on civilians and other abuses.

    From the start of the Ukraine war, “there was killing of civilians, raping,” Hill said. “It didn't seem like a moral-run military in the first place."

    By contrast, video showing the courage of a Ukrainian fighter as he appeared to be executed by Russian fighters stood out to Hill. “His last words were something along the lines of ‘Slava Ukraini,’" or Glory to Ukraine, Hill said.

    The vast majority of U.S. adults believe that Russia has committed war crimes during the conflict, including 54% who say Russia is the only side that has done so. The International Criminal Court at the Hague in the Netherlands in March issued arrest warrants for Putin over Russia's mass deportation of Ukrainian children.

    Older adults are more likely to view Russia’s invasion as an unjustified attempt to overthrow Ukraine’s government — 79% among people 45 and older, compared with 59% for those 44 and under.

    In all, 62% regard Russia as an enemy — or top enemy — of the United States. And 48% are very worried about Russia's influence around the world. At the same time, 50% say they have a favorable opinion of the Russian people, compared with 17% who have an unfavorable view.

    Only 8% of people in the U.S. say they have a favorable view of Putin.

    Americans' view of Russia and its leader has already been a flashpoint in U.S. politics, as when Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis drew criticism this spring for dismissing Ukraine's fight against Russian forces as a “territorial dispute.” The remark was associated with a drop in support for DeSantis, a prospective Republican presidential candidate.

    When it comes to the war itself, “it's unfortunate that it's going on as long as it is. And I can't imagine, you know, living there, and that would be my life everyday, with bombs going off,” said Laura Salley, 60, a college mental-health counselor in Easton, Pennsylvania, and a Democrat.

    “But if we pull back, I’m pretty sure that Russia would find that as an opportunity to encroach again,” Salley said.

    Some more good news...the U.S. is still solidly pro-Ukraine.

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  • TopHatter
    White House not planning to ask for extra Ukraine funding before September despite lawmaker concerns money could run out by summer

    The White House says it is not currently planning to ask Congress for new Ukraine funding before the end of the fiscal year at the end of September, pitting administration officials against some lawmakers and congressional staffers who are concerned that the funds could run out by mid-summer.

    “Thanks to the bipartisan Congressional support for Ukraine, we believe we have the resources we need through the end of this fiscal year,” a White House spokesperson told CNN. “As we get closer to the end of the fiscal year, we’ll reevaluate and determine what additional resources are needed.”

    The White House statement comes amid some anxiety on Capitol Hill about what they say is the administration’s lack of clarity on the issue. Administration officials told CNN that they anticipate that the White House’s Office of Management and Budget will have to ask Congress for more Ukraine funding once the current batch – approved by Congress in December – runs out.

    In December, Congress approved the administration’s request for an additional $48 billion to help arm Ukraine and combat the Covid-19 pandemic, $36 billion of which was specifically allocated for Ukraine. The supplemental was meant to last through September 30, 2023. The administration requested this kind of additional funding to help support Ukraine four times last year, in March, May, September and December.

    Pentagon spokesman Lt. Col. Garron Garn told CNN that of the $36 billion in emergency supplemental funding the Pentagon received to aid Ukraine for 2023, “$2.3 billion remains available for Presidential Drawdown Authority (PDA is an authority and not funding) and $4.0 billion for the Ukraine Security Assistance Initiative (USAI).”

    Garn added that the Pentagon “continues to assess planned obligations for remaining FY 2023 funding and evaluate as the situation evolves to support battlefield successes during new offensives in the Spring.”

    White House and Pentagon officials told CNN that they are anticipating having to ask Congress for more funding, but want to first determine how to distribute the money they already have. To date, the US has dispersed weapons and supplies to Ukraine through the Ukraine Security Assistance Initiative and the Presidential Drawdown Authority, which draws directly from Pentagon weapons stocks and requires replenishment funding.

    Congressional staffers told CNN that based on how much the administration has been spending every month, they believe the remaining funds could run out sooner than September – and they have not yet heard from administration officials about whether the White House will request additional funding once that money is depleted.

    “It is critical that the administration provide Ukraine with what it needs in time to defend and take back its sovereign territory,” Sen. Susan Collins said during a Department of Defense budget hearing last week. “We expect the administration not to wait until the eleventh hour if the Ukrainians need more before the end of the fiscal year.”

    The staffers also said they are concerned that the administration is waiting to see whether Ukraine is successful in its much-anticipated counteroffensive before committing any more funds to the war.

    US has promised to support war effort ‘for as long as it takes’
    Biden administration officials have said repeatedly that the US will support Ukraine “for as long as it takes” to secure Ukraine’s freedom from Russian aggression.

    “You remind us that freedom is priceless; it’s worth fighting for as long as it takes,” President Joe Biden told Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky while in Kyiv in February. “And that’s how long we’re going to be with you, Mr. President: for as long as it takes.”

    Congressional staffers and administration officials took note when House Speaker Kevin McCarthy pledged to support continued assistance to Ukraine in recent weeks, after repeatedly saying that there should not be a blank check when it comes to continued support.

    “I vote for aid for Ukraine, I support aid for Ukraine,” McCarthy said while he was visiting Israel earlier this month. “We know that you don’t support the current unlimited and uncontrolled supplies of weaponry and aid to Ukraine.”

    Still, congressional staffers told CNN they worry that a new supplemental request may also take longer to debate and approve now that the House of Representatives is controlled by Republicans, some of whom are skeptical of the US’ ongoing support for Ukraine. That could further delay new funding, and risk creating a gap in US support for Kyiv.

    Some State Department officials have already begun considering what they would do if Congress cuts funding to Ukraine, one official told CNN. And officials who oversee certain buckets of assistance like direct budget support to Ukraine remain concerned, especially given opposition to that kind of support from some Republicans, another US official told CNN.

    But the White House, for its part, does not seem concerned that additional funding won’t get passed. “We’re extremely grateful and proud of the strong bipartisan support for Ukraine as the people of Ukraine defend their sovereignty and their democracy from Russian aggression,” the White House spokesperson said.

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  • TopHatter
    Former National Security Advisor John Bolton says world leaders saw Trump as a 'laughing fool' and disputes that the ex-president could have stopped Russia's invasion of Ukraine

    Donald Trump and John Bolton.
    • Ex-National Security Advisor John Bolton said world leaders saw Trump as a "laughing fool" on CNN.
    • Bolton rejected Trump's claims that he could have stopped Russia's invasion of Ukraine had he won reelection.
    • "The idea that somehow his presence in office would have deterred Putin is flatly wrong," he said.

    Former National Security Advisor John Bolton on Tuesday said that foreign leaders saw former President Donald Trump as a "laughing fool" and rejected his ex-boss's claims that he could have stopped Russian President Vladimir Putin's invasion of Ukraine had he still been in office last year.

    During an interview on CNN's "This Morning," Bolton — an experienced diplomat and defense hawk who served under Trump from April 2018 to September 2019 — pushed back against assertions that the former president made about Ukraine last week as he participated in the network's controversial town hall. While speaking with journalist Kaitlan Collins, Trump said that Russia would not have invaded Ukraine had he been in the Oval Office and also said that he could "settle" the conflict in 24 hours if voters send him back to office — both highly questionable claims for a war the US is not a direct participant in.

    Bolton, while speaking with Collins and journalist Poppy Harlow, quickly rejected such talk.

    "Trump has this impression that foreign leaders, especially adversaries, hold him in high regard — that he's got a good relationship with Xi Jinping, Vladimir Putin, Kim Jong Un," Bolton said of the leaders of China, Russia, and North Korea, respectively.

    "In fact, the exact opposite is true," he continued. "I have been in those rooms with him when he met with those leaders. I believe they think he's a laughing fool and the idea that somehow his presence in office would have deterred Putin is flatly wrong."

    Bolton then said that if Trump had won reelection in 2020, the former president's push to weaken NATO would have aided Russia in their quest to take over Ukraine.

    "If anything, if Trump had won a second term and done what I think he intended to do which is get out of NATO, Putin would have just waited and let him do it," he said. "Even the weakening of NATO would have it made a lot easier for the Russians to have prevailed."

    Bolton, who served as US ambassador to the United Nations under former President George W. Bush, has been a huge critic of Trump since leaving the administration. The diplomat, while on CBS News just last month, said that it was a "big mistake, politically" for the GOP to continue aligning itself with Trump headed into 2024.

    Dumb fuck couldn't even find Ukraine on a map

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  • TopHatter
    How Trump presidency could change Ukraine war

    Over the course of his short but eventful political career, Donald Trump has shown a predisposition to be sympathetic to Russian President Vladimir Putin.

    During a 2018 Russia-US summit in Finland, for instance, he disregarded US intelligence services, choosing to believe Mr Putin's denial of meddling in the 2016 election.

    If Mr Trump returns to the White House, this more positive attitude toward Russia - which is echoed in much of the Republican base and some of the party's members in Congress - is likely to re-emerge as a driving force in US policy.

    His comments at a CNN-hosted town hall event this week provided further evidence to those who accuse him of being too cosy with Mr Putin.

    The former president said he could end the war in 24 hours but did not say how. He refused to be drawn on whether he wanted Ukraine to prevail and complained about the cost of the military aid.

    "We don't have ammunition for ourselves. We're giving away so much," he said, accusing European countries of not contributing enough.

    While the US Congress has approved billions of dollars in support for Ukraine to be distributed over an extended timeframe, as president, Mr Trump could use his executive power to slow down or even stop that support.

    He did this before when president, for some congressionally approved military aid.

    Some of his Republican colleagues were quick to condemn his remarks, but it is possible - or even probable - that if Trump were elected in November 2024, US backing for the war effort could end entirely.

    At the very least, the full-throated support for Ukraine that the current administration has expressed, along with its aggressive diplomatic efforts to maintain a united front with European allies on Russia sanctions, would in all likelihood be greatly diminished.

    In the UK, which is ramping up its assistance to Ukraine to now include long-range missiles, there are concerns about the implications of a Trump presidency.

    If Mr Trump cuts off the supply of weapons, the war will end on Russian terms, which is the West's worst nightmare, says the former head of Britain's secret service, Sir Alex Younger.

    "Putin didn't have a Plan B when he invaded Ukraine but this is now his Plan B - to wait it out."

    American public support for helping Ukraine has dropped since the start of the war and a Pew Research survey this week showed an increase in the number of Americans who believe the US should focus more on problems at home.

    Jeffrey Treistman, a professor of national security at the University of New Haven in Connecticut, says it's unclear whether withdrawing US assistance would end the war overnight - it could still grind on for years or decades.

    "The Ukrainians to their credit have shown incredible resolve to fight the Russians and repel the invasion with minimal support initially," he said.

    "So it has the potential - even if the US were to stop providing assistance - of continuing and dragging on for the foreseeable future."

    If Kyiv is worried, they are not letting any anxiety show publicly.

    The day after Mr Trump made his comments, Ukraine's President Volodymyr Zelensky told the BBC he had no fears about the 2024 election.

    Playing down the prospect of a weaker US-Ukraine relationship, he said: "I think that the elections in the US are in a year. Who knows where we will be. I believe that we will win by then. So we'll see."

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  • Albany Rifles
    Originally posted by Gun Grape View Post
    Something I've been wondering.

    With the stuff we are transferring to Ukraine, how do we set the price?

    Is it replacement cost? The amount we would pay if we ordered one today

    Is it cost when it was built plus the price to modify them to whatever standard we are supplying them?

    Everything in the military, and I mean everything. has a set price which can be reset monthly by the item manager. There can be a myriad reasons for a cost vendor, amortization of a long term item, etc. Class VII is included in this. When there is an investigation for an accident resulting in loss or damage units use that current month's cost in the standard catalog.

    For Foreign Military Sales, the price of an item in us determined by the date of the approved sale/donation. So the price for these M1A1s was set when the President and SECDEF approved.

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  • TopHatter
    Originally posted by Gun Grape View Post
    Something I've been wondering.

    With the stuff we are transferring to Ukraine, how do we set the price?

    Is it replacement cost? The amount we would pay if we ordered one today

    Is it cost when it was built plus the price to modify them to whatever standard we are supplying them?
    It's probably something like "Cost As Currently Valued By The DoD + Price For Modifications"

    Having said that, I'm sure the concept of "creative accounting" is also being applied with a firehose....

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  • Gun Grape
    Something I've been wondering.

    With the stuff we are transferring to Ukraine, how do we set the price?

    Is it replacement cost? The amount we would pay if we ordered one today

    Is it cost when it was built plus the price to modify them to whatever standard we are supplying them?

    Leave a comment:

  • TopHatter
    US Abrams tanks for training Ukrainian forces arrive in Germany ahead of schedule

    A M1A1 Abrams tank navigates on various types of matting systems developed by U.S. Army's Engineer Research and Development Center (ERDC) during a demonstration of methods used by military vehicles during amphibious operations at the Vicksburg, Miss. campus, Aug. 1, 2017. U.S. officials say that Abrams tanks needed to train Ukrainian forces have arrived in Germany, and are on their way to Grafenwoehr Army base where the training will begin in two to three weeks.

    WASHINGTON (AP) — The U.S. Abrams tanks needed for training Ukrainian forces have arrived in Germany slightly ahead of schedule and are on their way to the Grafenwoehr Army base where the training will begin in two to three weeks, U.S. officials said Thursday.

    Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin told the Senate Appropriations defense subcommittee that the U.S. had moved “a number of tanks over into theater” so the Ukrainians could begin training on them. By the time they complete the training, expected to last about 10 weeks, the Abrams tanks currently being built for the Ukrainian forces will be ready, he said.

    A U.S. official said the 31 M1A1 Abrams tanks needed for the training arrived at the port in Bremerhaven, Germany, last weekend and they will get to the base by early this coming week. Their arrival at Grafenwoehr is a couple of weeks ahead of the schedule that was mapped out when military leaders from around Europe and elsewhere met in Germany last month to discuss Ukraine's needs for the war against Russia.

    The tanks the U.S. is providing Ukraine are being built to its military’s specifications and will get to Ukraine by early fall, just as the troops are finished with their instruction. The official spoke on condition of anonymity to provide details of the delivery not publicly released.

    The tank training will be the latest and most lethal new layer of combat instruction the U.S. is providing Ukraine’s troops to give them the best chance to overwhelm and punch through Russia’s battle lines. Over the past few months U.S. troops have trained more than 8,800 Ukrainians, including on how to use Stryker and Bradley fighting vehicles and M109 Paladins together on the battlefield. The Bradleys and Strykers are armored and armed vehicles used to ferry troops, and the Paladin is a self-propelled howitzer gun.

    During Thursday's hearing, Sen. Susan Collins, R-Maine, pressed Austin to move quickly to get the tanks into Ukrainian troops' hands and onto the battlefield.

    “We are doing everything possible to accelerate the delivery of these tanks, and early fall is a projection," Austin said.

    Collins and others noted the urgency of the fight in Ukraine, and she told Austin and Army Gen. Mark Milley, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, to be blunt about Ukraine's needs. Defense leaders should not let budget concerns dissuade them from seeking more weapons if that’s what Kyiv needs to be successful in a counteroffensive, said Collins, the ranking Republican on the panel.

    “It is critical that the administration provide Ukraine with what it needs in time to defend and take back its sovereign territory,” she said. “We expect the administration not to wait until the 11th hour if the Ukrainians seek more before the end of the fiscal year.”

    Sen. Lindsay Graham, R-S.C., noting the broader implications of the war, questioned Milley on the impact a Russian victory could have on China and its deliberations on whether to move to take the self-governing island of Taiwan, which Beijing claims.

    “I think that the Chinese are watching the war between Russia and Ukraine very carefully,” Milley said, adding that if Russian President Vladimir Putin succeeds, “China will learn certain lessons."

    “It may not be the single decisive point, but I think it will calculate into their decision-making process as to whether or not they attack to seize the island of Taiwan. So I think the outcome of Ukraine is critical to much broader issues than just Ukraine,” Milley said.

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  • TopHatter
    Originally posted by S2 View Post
    Couple of things. One, those assets in the west? Much of that has already been seized. It's only a question regarding the involuntary charitable donation recipient. "...In July, a U.S.-led effort involving other countries announced that it had blocked or seized over $30 billion in illicit assets."

    Two, ISW is reporting Putin's looking at ways to steal from his oligarchs remaining assets still held in Russia.

    And here we are, just a few months later....

    U.S. attorney general OKs transfer of forfeited funds from Russia oligarch for use in Ukraine

    WASHINGTON (Reuters) - U.S. Attorney General Merrick Garland has authorized the first transfer of forfeited Russian assets for use in Ukraine, he said on Wednesday.

    The Justice Department last year charged Russian oligarch Konstantin Malofeyev with violating sanctions imposed on Russia after its invasion of Ukraine, saying he provided financing for Russians promoting separatism in Crimea.

    At that time, Garland said, he also announced "the seizure of millions of dollars from an account at a U.S. financial institution traceable to Malofeyev’s sanctions violations."

    In February, Garland said he authorized the transfer of that money for use in Ukraine.

    "While this represents the United States’ first transfer of forfeited Russian funds for the rebuilding of Ukraine," Garland said, "it will not be the last,” he said in a statement.

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  • TopHatter
    Chris Christie calls Trump a 'puppet of Putin' after CNN town hall

    Former New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie called former President Donald Trump a “coward” and a “puppet of Putin” for refusing to say that Ukraine should win in its war against Russia.

    During a CNN town hall Wednesday night, Trump said it wasn't wise to call Russian President Vladimir Putin a war criminal, since that would make negotiating with him more difficult. When asked about the comment Thursday morning, Christie said he strongly disagrees.

    “I think he's a coward and I think he's a puppet of Putin,” Christie, a Republican weighing a presidential run, told radio host Hugh Hewitt. “I don't know why, to tell you the truth, but I can't figure it out, but there's no other conclusion to come to.”

    When asked by CNN moderator Kaitlan Collins if he wants Ukraine to win the war, Trump answered: “I don’t think in terms of winning and losing. I think in terms of getting it settled so we stop killing all these people.” He added, “I want everybody to stop dying.”

    That Trump wouldn’t back Ukraine “was the most stunning moment in the debate,” Christie said. “If you don't say that you think Ukraine should win the war, I don't know where you stand with Putin.”

    On the other hand, Rep. Brian Mast (R-Fla.), who has been outspoken about supporting Ukraine's war efforts against Russia but voted with fellow House Republicans against sending additional aid in December, praised Trump for being “smart enough, tactical enough” for not making foreign policy decisions on stage.

    But if President Joe Biden had given the same answer about the war, “I would slam [him],” Mast told CNN’s Phil Mattingly Thursday morning. Mast has endorsed Trump for president in 2024.

    The CNN host prodded Mast on why he isn’t criticizing the former president for the comments, to which the representative replied that “they’re two very different people, and they act in two very different ways,” citing the Biden administration’s Afghanistan withdrawal and southern border policy.

    But former Arkansas Gov. Asa Hutchinson, another GOP presidential candidate, said that he was “bothered” by Trump's claim that he could successfully negotiate with Putin to end the war.

    “He basically talks about himself being a great negotiator. Well, he set the stage by saying, ‘We can end this in one day, if I’m president.’ That gives away [any] negotiating leverage that he has because he tells Putin that, ‘You’re going to win, you've got the leverage as we go into the negotiation,’” Hutchinson said on CNN Wednesday night. “It's a terrible mistake, a terrible position, not supporting Ukraine.”

    As if this is something new...

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  • Albany Rifles
    While an old design...the HAWK was replaced by the Patriot system in the has been upgraded during its lifetime over its 60 years of use. In the 1990s an improved sensor and warhead made the HAWK effective against tactical and cruise missiles. Over 40,000 missiles were built. And HAWK is an acronym...Homing All The Way Killer. Back in the 1970s during upgrade testing drones would be used and ADA missiles were fired and observed. Other kinds of missiles never really made direct contact but the would fly near and a proximity fuse would go off. In those test firings they were inert warheads with live triggers/fuses. This was so drones could be reused. The drones were usually QF-86s/100s. Then they would fire a HAWK with an inert warhead. Everyone fired punched a hole in the target drone...they are that accurate.

    And there are a ton of parts existing between us & the Luftwaffe (who also replaced their HAWKs with Patriots.

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  • TopHatter
    US to provide Ukraine $1.2 billion in long-term security aid

    WASHINGTON (AP) — The U.S. will provide $1.2 billion more in long-term military aid to Ukraine to further bolster its air defenses as Russia continues to pound Ukraine with drones, rockets and surface-to-air missiles, U.S. officials said Monday.

    The aid package is expected to be announced on Tuesday and the money will be provided under the Ukraine Security Assistance Initiative. Unlike the U.S. equipment, weapons and ammunition that are more frequently sent to Ukraine from Pentagon stocks — so they can be delivered quickly — this money is to be spent over the coming months or even years to ensure Ukraine's future security needs.

    The assistance initiative will fund HAWK air-defense systems, air-defense munitions and drones for air defense. It will also buy artillery, rockets, satellite imagery assistance, and funding for ongoing maintenance and spare parts for a variety of systems, according to the officials. They spoke on condition of anonymity because the aid package has not yet been formally announced.

    Including this package, the U.S. has provided Ukraine nearly $37 billion in military aid since Russia invaded in February 2022.

    The decision comes as Ukraine prepares to launch a spring offensive against Russian forces, with air defense a persistent issue.

    Ukraine's air defenses shot down 35 Iranian-made drones over Kyiv in Russia’s latest nighttime assault, officials said Monday. Wreckage from a drone struck a two-story apartment building in Kyiv’s western Svyatoshynskyi district, while other debris struck a car parked nearby, setting it on fire, Kyiv Mayor Vitali Klitschko said in a Telegram post.

    Russian shelling of 127 targets across northern, southern and eastern parts of Ukraine killed three civilians, the Ukrainian defense ministry said.

    Facing economic sanctions and limits on its supply chains due to its invasion of Ukraine, Russia has routinely turned to Iran’s Shahed drones to bolster its firepower. And U.S. aid packages — including more immediate military weapons and support — have included systems to shoot down and otherwise defeat the drones.

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  • TopHatter
    Originally posted by Albany Rifles View Post
    Yeah...that noted defense production expert Tom Cotton. My dude's entire Army experience was as a Ranger platoon leader and company XO. His experience is like looking at the Encyclopedia Britannica through a straw.

    And what is the attitude of his GOP peers on aiding Ukraine?
    Seems like half the Congressional GOP is saying "Too Much!!" and the other half is saying "Not enough!!"

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