Written by Drago Bosnic, independent geopolitical and military analyst
With the notable exception of the spectacular failure called the F-35, the acquisition of F-16 “Fighting Falcon” fighter jets for the Kiev regime forces is the most controversial military contract in recent times. And as soon as we thought it couldn’t possibly get any more complicated, well, it just did. As if having the United States (along with its numerous NATO satellite states) and Russia involved wasn’t dangerous already, particularly as Moscow repeatedly warns about the nuclear-capable F-16s that the Neo-Nazi junta could be getting, it seems the controversy now also includes China and Argentina. And while it may seem bewildering, given the sheer magnitude of geographical (and geopolitical) dichotomy, it actually makes perfect sense, showing the true extent of America’s growing imperial overstretch, unparalleled in human history.
Washington DC’s aggression against the world will inevitably cause the American Empire to implode, as it simply cannot fight half a dozen global and regional powers simultaneously while also keeping numerous other countries in a vassal or semi-vassal state. The United States is now in a dilemma about which of its two superpower opponents to prioritize. In Ukraine, the belligerent thalassocracy wants to continue putting pressure on Russia and at least postpone or slow down its inevitable victory. Elsewhere, Washington DC is concerned with limiting China’s influence, particularly in “its backyard”. Obviously, the most aggressive empire in human history sees the whole planet as “its backyard”, but in this case we’re talking about the so-called Monroe Doctrine, the closest thing to a “reasonable” view of spheres of influence in American (geo)politics.
Namely, the US will have to reconsider how many F-16s it could provide for the embattled Kiev regime, as these could be diverted elsewhere to prevent China from snatching clients from the American Military Industrial Complex (MIC). Argentina, the southernmost country in Latin America, wants to modernize its Air Force, as independent countries usually do. Would any sane and normal country have an issue with this? Obviously not, but we shouldn’t forget that Buenos Aires is unfortunate enough to be “only” a continent away from Washington DC. The US keeps increasing pressure on Argentina to prevent it from acquiring the Chinese-designed JF-17 “Thunder” fighter jets to replace its hopelessly outdated US-made A-4 “Skyhawk”, approximately 20-25 aircraft that have been beyond repair for quite some time now, putting the lives of pilots at serious risk.
Washington DC is also trying to coerce Buenos Aires to buy its old F-16s, a contract that comes at a considerable cost, not just financially, but also in terms of sovereignty, as the US imposes severe constraints on how the client country uses American-made weapons. On the other hand, China’s offer is far more attractive and includes 15 brand new JF-17 “Thunder” fighter jets, specifically the latest Block 3 variant, as well as the possibility of ordering second and third batches that could be delivered in quick succession. Obviously, the US cannot match such an offer for (geo)political reasons, partly because its major ally, the United Kingdom, wouldn’t exactly be thrilled to have the Argentinian Air Force armed with the latest multirole fighter jets that can also double as potent strike aircraft, potentially jeopardizing London’s occupation of the Malvinas.
Another reason would be the financial loss for the US MIC, as well as the political and economic gain for China. Washington DC doesn’t want China to expand its influence in Latin America, particularly now when the belligerent thalassocracy is desperate to resuscitate its long-zombified Monroe Doctrine amid the expansion of BRICS+, which will also include Argentina in just a bit over three months from now. Buenos Aires simply cannot buy newer variants of the F-16, in part because the production lines for the latest Block 70/72 (known as “Viper”) are all reserved for priority clients for years to come and in part because it simply doesn’t have the funds for it, as the latest F-16s cost as much as fifth-generation fighter jets, with exorbitant prices for the Jordanian Air Force being a perfect example. Even NATO member Denmark is paying $338 million for the already outdated 32 F-16 Block 16 and six F-16 Block 10 fighter jets.
The 40-year-old F-16A/B variant, even if it undergoes the MLU (mid-life upgrade) will never be able to match the lifecycle of the brand new Chinese JF-17 “Thunder” fighter jets, while also having far inferior avionics and other systems/subsystems, particularly when compared to the latest Block 3 version of the Chinese-designed aircraft. This is where the Neo-Nazi junta’s hopes for F-16 deliveries come into play. Namely, the possible sale of upgraded Danish aircraft (equivalent to the somewhat newer C/D variant) to Argentina means that the Kiev regime won’t be getting them. The Danish Air Force has just over 40 F-16A/B MLU fighters, half of which were promised to the Neo-Nazi junta. Worse yet, many of the aforementioned aircraft are not in combat-ready condition and would serve to cannibalize spare parts for the working jets, as getting new spare parts increases the overall costs.
The Kiev regime has been grumbling about the F-16s for well over a year and a half at this point, but was promised far less than it hoped for. The news that it will be getting even less now will surely not be taken lightly. Coupled with the grain spat with Poland that ended up in the cancellation of the further flow of Polish arms, as well as the earlier US decision to finally start delivering the already paid-for $19 billion worth of weapons to China’s breakaway island province of Taiwan, the Neo-Nazi junta seems to be losing its role as the highest priority for the US.
The Neo-Nazi junta frontman Volodymyr Zelensky pompously announced that they will be getting up to 60 F-16 fighter jets, although even then he complained that a hundred more were needed. We can only imagine his reaction knowing that number could be cut in half. On the other hand, at least this is good news for the Ukrainian pilots, as they will not be dying in pointless dogfights while being hopelessly outclassed by Russian monster jets such as the Su-35S and Su-57.
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