- The Washington Times
Wednesday, March 16, 2022

Former Vice President Mike Pence said Wednesday that the U.S. should transfer fighter jets and anti-aircraft batteries to Ukraine, and he called for a massive Berlin-style airlift to provide humanitarian aid.

“I think it’s time that we transferred the MiGs, that we gave them the antiaircraft systems,” Mr. Pence said on Fox News. “And I also believe … the time has come for a 21st-century Berlin Airlift. We’ve got to make sure that the people that are staying have the basic sustenance of life to be able to hold out against this Russian invasion.”

In 1948, the U.S. and its allies conducted a massive resupply effort by air to Western-occupied Berlin in East Germany, which had been cut off by the Soviets from access to all highways, railroads and canals leading to the West. The Berlin Airlift lasted nearly one year and transported more than 2.3 million tons of cargo.

Mr. Pence, who visited the Poland-Ukraine border last week, said the needs of refugees and people still in Ukraine are rising.

“I heard over and over again the practical needs that people are facing: food, water, medicine,” he said. “I think it’s time for the free world to step up and work together to make sure that the people of Ukraine have the wherewithal to defend themselves and also to take care of themselves and their families.”

The U.S. has refused to agree to Poland’s proposal to transfer MiG-29 fighter jets to Ukraine, saying the plan is “untenable.”

Mr. Pence said the administration should do more.

“I believe that it’s important that we heed [Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy’s] call for additional sanctions, that we economically isolate Putin,” he said. “And I think the time has come for us to do more to give them more of the ability to defend themselves and to give them the support that they need in this hour of need.”

He noted that Mr. Zelenskyy is not asking for U.S. troops.

“He simply asked for the ability to defend themselves. And that’s where I think the anti-aircraft missile systems, transferring the MiGs, giving them resources,” Mr. Pence said.

• Dave Boyer can be reached at dboyer@washingtontimes.com.

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