Ukraine War, March 1, 2022 (III): “Bureaucratic time” versus “war time”–NATO stumbles in delivering fighter jets to Ukraine

March 3, 2022

Transfer of NAT jets blocked


1) Jacek Siminski, “In The End Ukraine Will Not Receive Any NATO Fighter,” The Aviationist, March 3, 2022;

2) Paul McLeary, “European plan to donate fighter jets to Ukraine collapses
The dissolution of the deal comes as European countries lined up Monday to announce new weapons packages for Ukraine, from anti-armor and anti-air rockets to artillery and medical supplies,” POLITICO, February 28, 2022 (06:16 PM EST,
Updated 03/01/2022 at 02:57 PM EST).

Original article


1) Philipp Fritz und Christoph B. Schiltz, “KAMPFJETS FÜR DIE UKRAINE?: Europas Balanceakt am Rande der Eskalation,” Die Welt, den 1. Mārz 2022.

This article relates how NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg flew to an air base in southern Poland on Tuesday to meet with Polish President Andrzej Duda to clarify NATO’s position regarding sending fighter jets into Ukraine. Some ambiguity remained as to whether Ukrainian pilots might fly the from Poland into Ukraine airspace.

Regarding the recently-signed Ukraine-Poland-U.K. tripartite security pact and this risks it could pose for NATO under Article 5 of the NATO Treaty, see the following articles:

2) Sebastian Sprenger, “Ukraine, UK, Poland announce security pact amid heightened tensions,” Yahoo News (from Defense News), February 17, 2022 (1:20 p.m.);

3) “Ukraine Crisis, February 20, 2022: Deterrence has failed. Only China may be able to stop Putin’s invasion of Ukraine; now is no time to make concessions to an aggressor, in the Minsk negotiations or anywhere else,” The Trenchant Observer, February 20, 2022. The Trenchant Observer notes:

A second significant development in recent days is the signing of a tripartite security pact between Ukraine, Poland, and the United Kingdom. Should this lead to Polish military intervention to help defend Ukraine from a Russian invasion, any Russian attack against Poland could trigger the mutual defense obligation contained in Article 5 of the NATO Treaty.

While courageous Ukrainian soldiers are fighting and duying as they defend their country from an invading Russian army, which is bombing innocent civilians, NATO can’t figure out hiw to get 28 older Polish NATO jets, promised to Ukraine, into Ukraine.

This is absolutely unbelievable!

It reeks of the timidity and incompetence of the Biden foreign policy team, who are surely telling Stoltenberg what he can and cannot do or say.

The Observer’s advice:

First, throw all the lawyers and “dotting the ‘i’ and crossing the ‘t’ bureaucrats” out of the room.

Second, bring in the warriors, the people who have experienced an enemy tank bearing down on themselves or their men, men who have faced incoming artillery and seen the damage it can inflict on civilian populations. Men who understand the tempo of war.

Men who can act decisively in “war time” and not get hung up on details in “bureaucratic time”.

Third, tell the Biden foreign policy officials who want to control everything with a 5,000 mile long screwdriver to bug off, or, more politely, to leave it to the military men to get the jets into Ukraine, without Polish pilots flying them in.

Do the Biden and NATO officials really think Putin is going to attack a NATO country because planes being flown by Ukrainian pilots were in radio contact with a Polish airbase as they departed Poland?

Do they really think such evidence of their timidity is going to prevent Putin from resorting to the barbarism of Grozny and Aleppo?

It is time to get moving, on “war time”. Those planes should be in Ukraine within a day. Their speedy delivery could save many and perhaps thousands of lives.

The Trenchant Observer

About the Author

James Rowles
"The Trenchant Observer" is edited and published by James Rowles (aka "The Observer"), an author and international lawyer who has taught International Law, Human Rights, and Comparative Law at major U.S. universities, including Harvard, Brandeis, the University of Pittsburgh, and the University of Kansas. Dr. Rowles is a former staff attorney at the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights (IACHR) of the Organization of American States OAS), in Wasington, D.C., , where he was in charge of Brazil, Haiti, Mexico and the United States, and also worked on complaints from and reports on other countries including Argentina, Chile, Uruguay, El Salvador, Nicaragua, and Guatemala. As an international development expert, he has worked on Rule of Law, Human Rights, and Judicial Reform in a number of countries in Latin America, the Caribbean, Africa, the Middle East, South Asia, and the Russian Federation. In the private sector, Dr. Rowles has worked as an international attorney for a leading national law firm and major global companies, on joint ventures and other matters in a number of countries in Europe (including Russia and the Ukraine), throughout Latin America and the Caribbean, and in Australia, Indonesia, Vietnam, China and Japan. The Trenchant Observer blog provides an unfiltered international perspective for news and opinion on current events, in their historical context, drawing on a daily review of leading German, French, Spanish and English newspapers as well as the New York Times, the Wall Street Journal, the Washington Post, and other American newspapers, and on sources in other countries relevant to issues being analyzed. Dr. Rowles speaks fluent English, French, German, Portuguese and Spanish, and also knows other languages. He holds an S.J.D. or Doctor of Juridical Science in International Law from Harvard University, and a Doctor of Law (J.D.) and a Master of the Science of Law (J.S.M.=LL.M.), from Stanford University. As an undergraduate, he received a Bachelor of Arts degree, also from Stanford, where he graduated “With Great Distinction” (summa cum laude) and received the James Birdsall Weter Prize for the best Senior Honors Thesis in History. In addition to having taught as a Lecturer on Law at Harvard Law School, Dr. Rowles has been a Visiting Scholar at Harvard University's Center for International Affairs (CFIA). His fellowships include a Stanford Postdoctoral Fellowship in Law and Development, the Rómulo Gallegos Fellowship in International Human Rights awarded by the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights, and a Harvard MacArthur Fellowship in International Peace and Security. Beyond his articles in The Trenchant Observer, he is the author of two books and numerous scholarly articles on subjects of international and comparative law. Currently he is working on a manuscript drawing on some the best articles that have appeared in the blog.