Here’s an Idea: Pay Russian Pilots for Defecting - The American Spectator | USA News and Politics
Here’s an Idea: Pay Russian Pilots for Defecting
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Before the Korean War ended, the United States publicized Operation Moolah to the enemy: a $100,000 reward (equivalent to $1 million in 2022), and asylum, for the first North Korean pilot who defected and brought with him an intact MiG-15. We did this for two reasons: to get the technology of a superior fighter jet and to prove the Soviet Union was involved in the war.

Shortly after the war’s truce, on September 21, 1953, a MiG-15 suddenly landed at Kimpo Air Base in South Korea, piloted by 21-year-old Senior Lt. No Kum-Sok of the North Korean Air Force. The senior lieutenant got his $100,000.

Fast forward: Let the United States (and/or other countries) provide money to Ukraine to let Ukraine offer a financial reward for the defection of every Russian pilot who brings an intact fighter jet. For this effort, we’d be giving just money, no arms, no fighter jets, just money. The Russians couldn’t complain about us giving Ukraine money. It would be Ukraine who using it to incentivize defections. And no country would be shooting these Russian jet fighters out of the sky, but they’d be taken out of service and useless to Russia.

The particulars can be worked out: How big should the reward be? How would the offer be communicated to Russian pilots? To what airfields would Russian pilots be directed? Etc.

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