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F-22s Are Magic Dragons Made Out of Unobtanium


Colonel Robert Spalding III (USAF):

To buy time for Ukraine and to allow time for diplomatic measures to be effective, a military solution is called for. A purely defensive deployment of F-22 fighters (along with supporting aircraft) is just one possible solution. To be diplomatically effective these forces would have to come with an American promise to defend Ukrainian skies from attack.

Without firing a shot, such a deployment would immediately change Putin’s invasion calculus. Faced with F-22s, Russian aircraft would not survive, and thus could not support a Russian ground invasion. Ukrainians would feel more confident about their ability to defend their country, since any Russian invasion would be subject to attack by Ukrainian aircraft protected by F-22s.

I have a response at War is Boring.

This proposal would seem merely silly if it came from a civilian policymaker without the faintest notion of the finer points of air power. Instead, it comes from an Air Force colonel. But it shouldn’t surprise anyone that Air Force officers are pushing palpably absurd solutions to the Ukraine crisis.

People complain that my book Grounded: The Case for Abolishing the United States Air Force focuses too much on having “dead arguments with dead men,” and that modern air power advocates have given up on making extravagant, unsupportable claims about the effectiveness of aviation.


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