On Ukrainian president Volodymyr Zelensky’s birthday, America announced a big present.
Not the 31 M1 Abrams tanks, but heart.
Joe Biden’s America has given political cover for the Germans to send Leopard tanks, and for Spain, Poland, Finland and probably Norway to do the same.
Without the US, the Europeans wouldn’t have started down this path.
In the Ukraine war, the Abrams tanks will pack a punch, as symbols of political togetherness. Their usefulness on that particular battlefield can’t be gauged because they won’t get to Ukraine for ages.
As Tom, Pentagon correspondent of the American public broadcaster NPR said, in the January 25 edition of the NPR Politics podcast, the Abrams tanks may take “months, up to a year” to get to Ukraine. “If General Dynamics has to build them from scratch,” it could be Christmas 2023 before they get there. “It’s a delayed birthday present [to Zelensky] let’s say…they’re not going to be ready for the spring offensive.”
But the German Leopard tanks can swing the war. Roughly 2,000 Leopards are scattered around Europe and the 300 or so that the Ukrainians wanted, could get there pretty soon.
This is not a tanks-to-Ukraine story but one about heart and political will.