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ICYMI: Rubio Proposes A-10 Transfer Program
What the US should do with its A-10 Thunderbolt
U.S. Senator Marco Rubio (R-FL)
June 7, 2023
The U.S. government created the A-10 in the 1970s to provide close air support to American ground troops…. [I]n the decades since, it has served the military faithfully [in the Gulf War and the War on Terror]….
But major military operations in the Middle East have ceased. Today, our greatest adversary is Communist China, whose tanks and emplacements are much more advanced than those used by the Soviets or Islamic terrorists.
To prepare to counter Beijing in a future conflict, we must make the best possible use of our limited hangar space and procurement dollars. To do that, we must retire the A-10, as senior military leaders have called for….
However, the A-10 can still do a lot of good if transferred to allies and partners in need of it. The most obvious example is Ukraine, which is preparing to mount a counteroffensive against Soviet-era tanks and entrenched Russian positions.
At the recent G7 summit, President Biden stated he supports training Ukrainian forces to operate F-16 Fighting Falcons…. But even if we accept the president’s decision, there is good reason to wonder if an air-to-air fighter makes the most sense. Ukraine’s defense intelligence chief, for one, believes Ukraine would fare better with A-10s….
Beyond Ukraine, potential beneficiaries of an A-10 transfer program include African countries in the Sahel fighting ISIS and Boko Haram, or even Latin American nations combatting paramilitary rebels and drug cartels in the jungle….
Simply put, phasing out the A-10 by transferring it to allies and partners is the smart thing to do. Not only would it help America adapt to the challenges of the 21st century, it would also help our friends confront their own challenges without deep U.S. intervention….