U.S. approval of a “substantial number” of Abrams tanks for Ukraine is getting closer

Date:

U.S. approval of a "substantial number" of Abrams tanks for Ukraine is getting closer

  • news by AUN News correspondent
  • Wednesday, January 25, 2023
  • AUN News – ISSN: 2949-8090

Summary:

  • President Volodymyr Zelenskyy and other senior Ukrainian officials have been appealing for tanks for weeks as Kyiv prepares for new Russian offensives in the country’s east.

  • According to one of the two American officials, the Biden administration is considering sending 30 to 50 Abrams tanks.

  • But American officials have recently talked about how hard it is to supply the M1s, which are the Army’s main battle tanks.

  • It’s unknown if the United States and Germany have agreed to transfer both varieties of tanks.

  • The Biden administration has come under pressure from a long list of Democrats and Republicans to agree to Berlin’s request to send American tanks first.

The West’s efforts to arm it would make significant progress if American tanks were sent to Ukraine. President Volodymyr Zelenskyy and other top Ukrainian officials have asked for tanks for weeks as Kyiv prepares for new Russian offensives in the country’s east.

According to one of the two American officials, the Biden administration is considering sending 30 to 50 Abrams tanks.

A third U.S. official, who, like the others, spoke on the condition of anonymity to discuss the subject before an announcement, emphasized that the Pentagon never took tanks off the menu. But American officials have recently talked about how hard it is to supply the M1s, which are the Army’s main battle tanks. They claimed that because the Abrams used a lot of jet fuel and needed extensive supply lines to operate, they made little practical sense for Ukraine.

The Abrams tank is a very complex piece of equipment. It is pricey and challenging to train on. According to my memory, it has a jet engine and uses three gallons of jet fuel every mile. After a trip to Kyiv last week, Colin Kahl, the Pentagon’s top policy official, told reporters that the system was not the easiest to manage. It might or might not be the ideal system.

It’s unknown if the United States and Germany have agreed to transfer both varieties of tanks. Leopards are also used by Poland, which officially asked Germany on Tuesday for permission to give the German-made tank to the Ukrainian military.

The changes follow weeks of heated negotiations between Washington, Berlin, and their friends in Europe. Since Scholz met with American congressmen last week, the German government has changed its position. At first, it denied that the transfers of the Abrams and Leopards had anything to do with each other.

The Biden administration has come under pressure from a long list of Democrats and Republicans to agree to Berlin’s request to send American tanks first. Sen. Chris Coons (D-Del. ), a key Biden supporter, told POLITICO a few hours before the Wall Street Journal first reported the decision on Tuesday: “If the Germans continue to say we will only deploy or release Leopards on the condition that Americans give Abrams, we should send Abrams.”

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