Joel Gehrke of the Washington Examiner reports concerns about the Biden administration’s approach to the Ukrainian invasion.

An incoming shipment of U.S.-made ‘Switchblade’ drones will not include the most effective version of that weapon, despite Ukrainian hopes to acquire the variant that can destroy armored Russian military targets, as President Joe Biden’s team balances Ukrainian requests for aid against logistical challenges and the potential for additional Russian aggression. …

… “This is the biggest issue,” a Ukrainian official said, on condition of anonymity. “The Russians will bring all their capabilities to the battlefield . . . and we have those ridiculous tactical drones.”

That frustration is in tension with the perspective offered by a senior Pentagon official who informed Congress that 100 of drones would be provided to Ukraine.

“We have . . . received the message loud and clear from our Ukrainian colleagues that this is required,” Defense Department assistant secretary Celeste Wallander told the House Armed Services Committee on Wednesday. “We have committed 100 Switchblade tactical unmanned aerial systems to be delivered in the most recent package of [the] presidential drawdown . . . We’ve heard the Ukrainians, and we take that very seriously.”

President Joe Biden’s administration has not approved the transfer of the heavier-duty drones, according to a senior congressional aide. The number of available Switchblades is limited by supply chain issues, the aide acknowledged, but the limitations on the current transfer is emblematic of a widespread perception that fear of provoking Russia is curbing the amount and quality of military aid that the White House is willing to give. …

… That forbearance is illustrative of a wider gap between actual U.S. aid to Ukraine and the potential American assistance reflects “a struggle inside major NATO capitals,” including Washington, about the most prudent way to support Ukraine. France and Germany have been perceived as eager for a ceasefire, while President Joe Biden’s administration, according to American and European sources, is more willing to support Ukraine but also fears that Russian President Vladimir Putin will turn to weapons of mass destruction if the war goes too badly for Russian troops.