US to send 31 tanks to Ukraine in brutal White House overthrow of Biden

WASHINGTON — The United States will send Ukraine 31 M1 Abrams tanks in a sharp reversal of the Pentagon’s declared opposition late last week, senior White House officials said Wednesday.

“I am proud to say that Abrams tanks are the best in the world,” an official said. “This is a tremendous new capability that Ukraine will get to strengthen its long-term defenses.”

Ukraine has been asking its Western supporters for months for armored tanks for a new Russian offensive expected this spring. February 24 will mark one year since Moscow invaded the country, with both sides each suffering more than 100,000 estimated casualties.

The announcement comes six days after Pentagon spokeswoman Sabrina Singh said, “It just doesn’t make sense to provide [M1s] Ukrainians right now” because it uses a gas turbine engine that runs on jet fuel.

In addition to the M1s, the United States will also send 8 AM-88 recovery vehicles, which could help tow tanks that have run out of gas.

The announcement comes six days after Pentagon spokeswoman Sabrina Singh said, “It just doesn’t make sense to provide [M1s] to Ukrainians right now »
Reuters

“These are the vehicles that accompany the Abrams to be able to provide cover after operations to ensure that the Ukrainians can keep these Abrams in working order,” the official said.

White House officials said it would take up to a year to deliver the M1s, as they would not come from Pentagon inventory. Instead, the M1s will be procured through Congress-approved Ukraine Security Assistance Initiative funds, meaning it will take longer for the United States to procure, package and send the arms to Europe.

The US announcement comes the same day that German Chancellor Olaf Scholz announced that his government would send Ukraine 14 Leopard 2 main battle tanks – enough to equip a company – and approve requests from other nations to follow suit afterward. weeks of hesitation.

It is not known when the German tanks will be delivered to Ukraine, but the Pentagon has said that the Leopard tanks are better suited for the battle of Ukraine because, unlike the M1s, they use diesel-powered engines, which is easier to send to the field.

Ultimately, Germany and its allies aim to supply Ukraine with 88 German-made Leopards, which will equip two battalions. Once delivered, the 31 US tanks will constitute an additional battalion, the officials said.

The synchronized timing is remarkable, as German Defense Minister Boris Pistorius denied several reports last week that Berlin was waiting for the United States to send M1s before supplying its Leopard tanks.

That same day, Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin doubled down on Pistorius’ remarks, saying the Pentagon views sending weapons only as a means of “delivering capabilities” – not diplomatic ploys.


White House officials said it would take up to a year to deliver the M1s, as they would not come from Pentagon inventory.
White House officials said it would take up to a year to deliver the M1s, as they would not come from Pentagon inventory.
Reuters

“We don’t do anything and use capabilities as a notion, you know, for anything other than providing a credible combat capability,” he said. “And that’s where we will focus going forward.”

But White House officials said Wednesday’s announcement “follows ongoing diplomatic conversations we’ve had over the past few weeks,” including discussions held by Austin and the chairman of heads of state- Joint Major General Mark Milley “with their German and European counterparts”.

“President Biden will meet or has met several times with Chancellor Scholz this month to coordinate security assistance to Ukraine,” the official said.

Another official said Scholz’s decision “was really the product of good diplomatic conversations.”

“We certainly very much appreciate Chancellor Scholz’s announcement today,” the official said. “It’s really remarkable if you look back to last year to see the extraordinary change in Germany’s security policy.”

The White House announced that Biden spoke with Scholz, French President Emanuel Macron, British Prime Minister Rishi Sunak and Italian Prime Minister Georgia Meloni ahead of a midday speech at the White House.

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