It is unbelievably stupid but I guess its the only War that we have. I just liked the expression, "gently used" MIG 29s. One simply does not run across that term all that often outside a used car dealer's lot.
The other thing of course is that POLAND is provoking a war it cannot win either against Russia. They really need to stop poking the bear. It isn't what is was but is overwhelmingly lethal and there is no Western Power to bail them out this time. The Armies of the West simply are no more. They're gone and long gone and nobody in Eastern Europe has come close to recreating the Armies that we grew up 70 years ago.
“They are in the last years of their functioning but they are in good working condition,” President Andrzej Duda said.
That’s good news for Ukraine, whose tiny air force has been battered in more than a year of fighting. At the start of the war in February of 2022, Kyiv was believed to possess slightly fewer than 100 fighter jets, including about 70 somewhat modern MiG-29s and Su-27 Flankers, and around two dozen older ground-attack jets.
More than half of Ukraine’s fighters have been lost in the war. A dozen gently used Fulcrums won’t change the course of the war but they’re desperately needed nonetheless.
Poland could probably afford to give up its entire fleet of aging Fulcrums, since the country is rapidly upgrading its air force with FA-50 light attack jets from South Korea and has 32 fifth-generation F-35 Lightning II stealth strike fighters on order. Those are coming on top of the 48 American-made F-16C and -D models currently flown by the Siły Powietrzne.
I must add that Poland — and there’s no better way to put this — absolutely rocks.
Aside from the United States, Poland is right now the only major NATO power* that’s serious about national defense and the very real risk posed by Vladimir Putin’s murderous revanchism.
NATO has a defense spending target of 4% of each nation’s GDP. Most spend maybe half that, including Poland until recent years. Right now, Poland is doubling the size of its army to 300,000 men out of a population of 37 million. The German Bundeswehr has fewer than 185,000 active troops and a reserve so tiny it’s barely worthy of the name. That’s despite Germany having more than twice Poland’s population and a higher per capita income.
Germany talks about maybe hitting the 2% target… someday. Currently, Berlin spends an anemic 1.4% of GDP on defense, and they don’t spend it very well. Readiness in the German armed forces is considered virtually nonexistent.
Poland will soon have Europe’s largest tank force (except for Russia), including 1,000 South Korean K2 Black Panthers and 250 American-made M1 Abrams with plenty of upgrades. The K2, by the way, might be the toughest main battle tank made anywhere in the world, and with a price tag to match.
It’s heartening to see the Poles getting themselves so prepared. The country suffered more than four decades under Moscow’s heel during the Cold War; before that, it lost about one-fifth of its people to war, privation, and Nazi death camps during World War II. Poland’s brief independence between the wars only came after more than a century of partition between the Austrian, German, and Russian empires.
Is it any wonder Poland is so serious, not only about its own defense, but helping prevent Russia from taking all of Ukraine — right up to their own border?