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Western tanks to be sent to Ukraine despite repercussions

by Dubai-Qatar 247
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The competition between Russia and the West is getting more complicated after Germany and the United States announced their decision to send advanced tanks to Kiev.

The US is sending 31 Abrams battle tanks to Ukraine. US President Joe Biden told reporters at the White House that the tanks highlight America’s enduring commitment to Ukraine.

Today I’m announcing that the United States will be sending 31 Abram(s) tanks to Ukraine, the equivalent of one Ukrainian battalion.

Secretary Austin has recommended this step because it will enhance Ukraine’s capacity to defend its territory and achieve its strategic objectives.

The Abrams tanks are the most capable tanks in the world; they’re also extremely complex to operate and maintain, so, we’re also giving Ukraine the parts and equipment necessary to effectively sustain these tanks on the battlefield.

US President, Joe Biden

The reversal of the previous US position came after Germany said it will send 14 of the German made Leopard 2 tanks to Ukraine. Berlin has also given permission to partner countries to re-export other battle tanks to Kyiv.

Biden has praised the decision by Germany laying stress on what he called “Western unity against Russia”.

Germany had been reluctant to send tanks to Ukraine and was waiting for the US to take the lead. Although Britain had earlier announced that it would give British made challenger tanks to Ukraine, Berlin was concerned about escalating the war. Washington cited logistical and maintenance challenges.

Western nations had previously refused to give heavy armored vehicles to Ukraine. Kyiv is now pushing its Western allies to deliver fourth generation fighter jets, such as the American F 16, however, the German Chancellor, Olaf Scholz, says there is no chance of any fighter jets being sent to Ukraine despite renewed calls for high end aircraft.

The Ukrainian Air Force has a fleet of aging Soviet era fighter jets. Western military support has been vital for Kyiv.

I follow the debate closely surrounding these tanks. You know, you do have a number of German officials and experts, commentators, saying we can’t have German tanks, you know, on the border with Russia again, this evokes terrible, terrible memories of World War Two.

But the counter argument to this is because you hear a lot about Russia is that if you look at how Nazi Germany invaded the Soviet Union, it invaded it through Ukraine and Belarus.

So Germany also has a historic responsibility.

Professor Angela Stent, Government & Foreign Service, Georgetown University

By announcing the decision to send Leopard 2 tanks to Ukraine, Germany is now actively involved in the war with Russia. The German Minister of Foreign Affairs, Annalena Baerbock, has said that Germany and its allies are “fighting a war against Russia”. The comments have been described as rare and Frank remarks about the Western role in the conflict.

Sergey Nechaev, Russia’s Ambassador to Germany said this extremely dangerous decision takes the conflict to a new level of confrontation and contradicts the statements of German politicians about Germany’s unwillingness to get involved in it.

The largest European country, an economic giant, Germany. So the USSR legally formalized the end of its occupation. After WW2 Germany was divided into four sectors as known – the American, the French, the British and the Soviet one.

So the Soviet Union has legally formalized the end of its occupation status; unlike the United States. Formally, strictly speaking, there are occupational troops on the German territory. (Sic) This is a fact. And there are a lot of them there.

Vladimir Putin, President of Russia

Russia has decried the decision by NATO member states to send heavy weaponry to Kiev as a blatant provocation of Moscow.

The Kremlin has said that any Abrams battle tanks supplied to Ukraine by the US would “burn”. Russian officials have dismissed the expected delivery as an expensive folly.

The US Defense Department announced in early January 2023 that it would give an additional $3.1 billion in military aid to Ukraine. In total, the US approved about $50 billion in aid for Ukraine in 2022, almost half of which, $24.9 billion, went towards military spending.

The United States of America also gave $9.6 billion to Ukraine for what it has described as non military purposes in 2022.

Certainly Ukraine needs all the heavy armor it can get. The number of tanks the US is committed to sending isn’t large enough to make a huge difference on the battlefield. In all likelihood, this was the price of getting the Germans to agree to send much larger numbers of a comparably effective vehiclep the Leopard 2. So this is probably as much politics as battlefield combat effectiveness.

Professor Stephen D. Biddle, International & Public Affairs, Colombia University

It is believed that a small number of Western supplied tanks manned by poorly trained crews and lacking maintenance and supply infrastructure support is likely to yield negative results.

Furthermore, the first deployment of US main battle tanks in Ukraine must follow a significant Ukrainian army success, which would require no fewer than 200 to 300 tanks.

The question remains whether Western countries are prepared to engage in a full blown confrontation with Russia.

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