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In the first weeks of the first major European land war of the 21st century, the United States has sent tank-killing weapons to Ukrainian forces, but not fighter jets. It is equipping embattled Ukrainian troops with lightweight “kamikaze” attack drones, but not, at least in an obvious way, conducting an aggressive cyberwar to degrade Russia’s technological advantage.

The White House will commit no U.S. or NATO planes to the skies above Ukraine, a move U.S. officials fear could risk turning a regional war into a global conflagration, but it is providing Ukraine with missiles that could accomplish the same task of destroying Russian aircraft.

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