Center for American Progress

To Help NATO Allies Get Off Russian Equipment, the United States Should Revive Defense Lending
In the News

To Help NATO Allies Get Off Russian Equipment, the United States Should Revive Defense Lending

Author Max Bergmann encourages the U.S. to increase its efforts to modernize the militaries of its Eastern European allies.

Authors

  • Max Bergmann

Last June, a Romanian fighter jet crashed in a wheat field along the country’s Black Sea coast. The fighter was participating in a Romanian and Bulgarian military exercise when it experienced a major engine malfunction, forcing the pilot to eject. The crash of a NATO country’s jet may sound like a freak accident, but in this case, it is anything but. The plane that went down was not a modern fighter jet, but a Soviet-era MiG-21 from a fleet of aging Soviet fighters that has experienced a litany of accidents. At any given moment less than half of this fleet is operational. This incident highlights a broader issue: The militaries of NATO’s former communist members remain reliant on Soviet-era equipment, leaving them in pressing need of overhaul.

The above excerpt was originally published in War on the Rocks. Click here to view the full article.

The positions of American Progress, and our policy experts, are independent, and the findings and conclusions presented are those of American Progress alone. A full list of supporters is available here. American Progress would like to acknowledge the many generous supporters who make our work possible.

Authors

Max Bergmann

Senior Fellow