Aug 18 2023

U.S. Senator Lindsey Graham (R-South Carolina) on F-16 Transfer to Ukraine

WASHINGTON – U.S. Senator Lindsey Graham (R-South Carolina) today made this statement on news the Biden Administration will finally approve transfers of F-16s from Denmark and the Netherlands to Ukraine.

“While it is good news that the Biden Administration will finally approve the transfer of F-16s, it also highlights how much the Biden Administration has slow walked the transfer of weapons that can help change the outcome on the battlefield. 

“The request to send F-16s to Ukraine has been outstanding for more than a year.  It is a proposal which has enjoyed strong bipartisan support in Congress.  In fact, Senator Blumenthal and I have made several pleas to the Biden Administration encouraging them to begin training Ukrainian pilots on the F-16 so when the decision was made to send the jets the pilots would be prepared to take them into the fight.

“Unfortunately, I fear the timing of today’s approval will not allow the F-16s to be used in the Ukrainian counteroffensive or in reality, anytime soon. 

“At every turn the Biden Administration has been reluctant to provide the weapons Ukraine needs.  This has prolonged the war and only served to make it costlier in terms of lives and treasure. 

“Unfortunately, the delay in F-16s is not an isolated incident and we have seen this happen time and time again.  Another consequential mistake the Biden Administration has made is failing to provide ATACMS and mine clearing equipment to the Ukrainians for their offensive. 

“We all know that military hardware like modern fighter aircraft and ATACMS are game changers.  We should approve them now and get them to the Ukrainians as quickly as possible.”