(TotalConservative.com) – Reversing previous sentiments the U.S. is now sending 31 Abrams M1 tanks to Ukraine to aid in their ongoing war with Russia, per statements given Wednesday, January 25th. An official announcement was expected after anonymous officials leaked the possibility to the press.
The announcement comes on the heels of the World Economic Forum meeting in Davos, Switzerland, where support for tanks being sent to Ukraine was high. During that event, Ukrainian President Zelensky appeared via teleconferencing to lobby for support for his country’s war effort. Given the influence of the WEF and its attendees, one can only surmise that the sentiments expressed in Davos are having downstream effects on U.S. and NATO policy.
Zelensky was thrilled to receive news of the announcement, calling it “an important step on the path to victory.”
The change marks a departure from previous public statements that the M1 tanks were too difficult to operate and maintain for Ukraine. They will be made available under another upcoming $400 million Ukrainian Security Assistance Initiative (USAI) intended to provide long-term funds for weapons and other supplies.
A huge drawback to the idea is that it would take months to get the M1 tanks to Ukraine and train their people on operation and maintenance. Therefore it will be even longer before U.S. tanks are able to enter the conflict.
A similar announcement has come from Germany which authorized Poland to send 17 of their German-made Leopard 2 tanks into the war, as of January 25th. German Chancellor Olaf Scholz was uncomfortable sending the tanks without a U.S. commitment to send theirs, this plan would meet that requirement.
As recently as last week, Under Secretary of Defense for Policy Colin Kahl said the M1 was difficult to maintain, expensive, and a challenge to learn how to operate well. He also suggested that sending equipment to Ukraine that they couldn’t operate, maintain, or afford isn’t going to help in the long run.
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