The U.S. military claimed the relocated air defense units would not be used in any “offensive operations”
The Pentagon said it would move two Patriot anti-missile batteries from Poland to Warsaw “invitation.” The US military claimed the deployment was purely defensive in nature.
“This defensive deployment is being conducted proactively to counter any potential threat to U.S. and allied forces and NATO territory,” the United States European Command (EUCOM) said in a statement on Tuesday.
The Combatant Command further emphasized that mobile missile systems, which use guided munitions to intercept and destroy hostile targets, are “a prudent measure of force protection” this “in no way support offensive operations.”
Since the start of the Russian military offensive in Ukraine on February 24, Poland has become one of the most vocal supporters of increased military assistance to Ukraine. Earlier on Tuesday, Warsaw suggested handing over its entire fleet of Soviet-built MiG-29 jets to the Pentagon so that Washington could then transfer the warplanes to Ukraine. The plan called for the Polish-owned jets to be transferred to a NATO military base in Germany, where the United States was supposed to take over the mission and fly the craft to Ukraine. In return, Warsaw hoped to receive second-hand fighters of similar capabilities from the United States.
The proposal was rejected by Washington later Tuesday. Pentagon spokesman John Kirby said the proposed deal was not “defensible,” because the implementation of the plan risked dragging NATO into the military conflict between Ukraine and Russia.
Kiev has repeatedly asked NATO to declare a no-fly zone on its territory, but to no avail. The bloc argued that such an engagement would likely draw other European countries into hostilities, triggering a “full-fledged war” on the continent.
Pentagon responds to Polish fighter jet proposal for Ukraine
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