Hagerty Does Not Sign Ernst-Romney Letter Demanding Biden Help Ukrainians Secure Their Airspace, Effect Polish MiG-29 Swap to Ukraine

The Tennessee Republican senator, who served as President Donald J. Trump’s ambassador to Japan, stands out as one of eight GOP senators who did not sign the March 10 letter drafted by Iowa’s Sen. Joni K. Ernst and Utah’s Sen. W. Mitt Romney demanded President Joseph R. Biden Jr. give the Ukrainians the equipment they need to secure their own airspace in support of that country, invaded on Feb. 24 by Russia.

The Star News Network reached out to Sen. William F. Hagerty IV, but his staff did not respond to inquiries before deadline.

Click here to read the Ernst-Romney letter.

Two Polish Air Force MiG-29s fly alongside a B-52H Stratofortress assigned to the 69th Expeditionary Bomb Squadron at RAF Fairford, England, during a sortie in Poland, Feb. 24, 2022. The Polish MiGs joined the B-52 during a sortie in Poland to practice integrating with Allies. (U.S. Air Force by Airman 1st Class Zachary Wright)

The letter came after the Department of Defense shut down Poland’s proposal to transfer its inventory of Soviet-era MiG-29 Fulcrum fighter jets to the U.S. air base at Ramstein, Germany, for further transfer by the United States to Ukraine. The second step in the plan was for the U.S. to backfill the Poles for 29 MiG-29s with American F-16s.

Ernst and Romney wrote that Biden had done an excellent job providing military aid to the Ukrainians, but his decision to stop the transfer of the Polish fighter jets to Ukraine was wrong. “While we commend the lethal aid that your Administration has sent to Ukraine thus far, we strongly disagree with your decision to delay and deny Poland the option to transfer fighter jets to Ukraine.”

The two senators wrote that using the Polish jets to confront the Russians in the Ukrainian airspace was time-sensitive.

“We urge your administration to work with Poland and our other NATO allies to expedite the transfer of urgently-needed airpower, air defense systems and other combat and support capabilities from the United States, NATO allies and other European partners to Ukraine,” they wrote.

At the March 10 Capitol Hill press conference announcing the letter, Romney said: “They want MiG’s. Get them MiG’s.”

A KC-135 Stratotanker with the 434th Air Refueling Wing, Indiana, refuels an F-16 Fighting Falcon with the 187th Fighter Wing, Alabama on February 10, 2021. The Stratotanker was on loan to MacDill Air Force Base, Florida and the crew was with the 927th Air Refueling Wing, Florida. (U.S. Air Force photo by Tiffany A. Emery)

Although Romney enjoys near-universal support from his GOP colleagues, he was strongly criticized by an op-ed in one of his hometown papers, Deseret News.

Valerie M. Hudson, a distinguished professor at The Bush School of Government and Public Service at Texas A&M University, wrote that Romney makes a mistake when he trusts Biden not to mess things up.

Apparently convinced that Biden is not going to do something stupid, these 42 senators, who should be ashamed of themselves, have chosen to make political hay out of the situation by attacking him for not being stupid.

Romney went even further, saying: “Enough talk. People are dying. Send them the planes that they need. They say they need MiGs … They want MiGs. Get them the MiGs.”

This is the kind of rushed judgment that leads to catastrophic foreign policy decision-making. The U.S. has traveled this road before. “Do something!” imperatives must be carefully examined to gauge whether they are likely to lead to the end-state outcomes we wish to see. It’s not possible to make such a case about the Polish MiGs.

The Wall Street Journal reported that as Romney lobbies for the U.S. to effect the swap of American F-16s for Polish MiG-29s sent to Ukraine, the president’s most senior military advisor, Gen. Mark A. Milley, is counter-lobbying Capitol Hill lawmakers to keep the deal inoperative.

Read Sen. Ernst’s letter:

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Neil W. McCabe is the national political editor of The Star News Network based in Washington. He is an Army Reserve public affairs NCO and an Iraq War veteran. Send him news tips: [email protected] Follow him on TruthSocial & GETTR: @ReporterMcCabe
Photo “Bill Hagerty” by United States Congress. Background Photo “MiG-29” by Alan Wilson. CC BY-SA 2.0.


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10 Thoughts to “Hagerty Does Not Sign Ernst-Romney Letter Demanding Biden Help Ukrainians Secure Their Airspace, Effect Polish MiG-29 Swap to Ukraine”

  1. william delzell

    I would have to agree with those conservatives (and leftists) who oppose any reckless measure that could lead to war with Russia. We must avoid this at all costs!

  2. David H

    Mitt Romney is usually wrong.

    Romney would start a war with Ukraine. The article should be about “Why did Blackburn sign Romney’s letter? Does she want to start a war?”

    Read the other comments posted here – 75% of Conservatives are opposed to a war with Russia.

    Good for Bill Hagerty!!!!

  3. Mike

    I support Senator Hagerty’s decision. This country does not need to get deeper into this conflict. This country should be focusing on inflation, energy production, borders and national security.

  4. Dr Ken

    Such letters are usually symbolic at best. The letter is in no way binding. There are a few “givens” in this discussion. Biden is going to do whatever his advisors, whomever they are, tell him to do. Having said that, Poland too, will do what they want to do without any input from Biden. Romney will do whatever he can to create a legacy and seems committed to nothing. I do believe the US should support the people of the Ukraine; we need to be cautious to avoid the insertion of US ground troops. Tangling with the Russian military would be far different from the military of Iraq.

  5. Sim

    “Weakness” is what started this war,
    and “Weakness” won’t end it.

    Putin needs to be told the USA has Nuclear weapons same as he does,
    and are just as willing to use them as him or anyone else. (China)

    As Mao said, “All political power comes out of the barrel of a gun”.
    Dictators has a desire to win, not die, they think twice when the gun is pointed at them.

  6. Bill

    Right move Senator. Common sense actions are all we ask for. Look for the money or popularity trail from those who signed, not having the best interest of the U.S. in mind.

  7. David

    Bravo Senator Hagerty! You finally made a right decision!

    1. Stuart I. Anderson

      No “finally” about it David. Hagerty has a Heritage score of 94%! That’s Hagerty (94%) replacing Corker (63%) after Blackburn (87%) replaced Alexander (50%). A rightward move that should make Tennessee conservatives proud.

  8. John Bumpus

    The other seven Republican U. S. Senators, in addition to Hagerty, who refused to sign the letter are:

    Blunt, Missouri
    Inhofe, Oklahoma
    Lee, Utah
    Lummis, Wyoming
    Moran, Kansas
    Paul, Kentucky
    Rounds, South Dakota

    Inhofe is presently sick with covid-19, and he has announced his retirement effective at the end of the year.

    1. Froginwarmwater

      I support Senator Haggerty’s decision. I don’t believe the current media narrative. NATO has violated its agreements with Russia. Lots of smoke with the bioweapon labs in Ukraine. Looks like bad guys and bad guys. $22T in debt, inflation and a plandemic domestically.