Change of Plans: US to Arm Ukraine with Abrams Main Battle Tanks

Change of Plans: US to Arm Ukraine with Abrams Main Battle Tanks

( – It’s been nearly a year since Russian President Vladimir Putin ordered his troops to cross the border into Ukraine. Since last February, the United States has sent billions of dollars in aid to the war-torn country, including several armored vehicles and other military equipment, but it stopped short of sending over tanks. Until now, that is.

On Wednesday, January 25, President Joe Biden announced in an about-face that the US would send over 31 M1 Abrams tanks to help Ukrainian forces “improve their ability to maneuver in open terrain.”

The initial concern surrounding these armored vehicles is that Ukrainians are unfamiliar with them and wouldn’t know how to operate or maintain them. However, Biden also revealed that the US will provide the “parts and equipment necessary to sustain these tanks on the battlefield.” American troops will train Ukrainian forces much as they continue to do with other equipment, including the Patriot defense systems.

The United States isn’t the only Western country offering up tanks to Ukraine. Biden acknowledged that Germany’s Chancellor Olaf Scholz has also agreed to provide Leopard 2 tanks to the country. France is also joining the charge, sending AMX-10s, and the United Kingdom has committed to donating Challenger 2 tanks. The president listed off several other countries that have and continue to support Ukraine through military contributions.

A reporter asked Biden if Germany pressured him to change his mind about sending over the tanks. The president assured them that this was not the case and it was more about “mak[ing] sure [the West] were all together” regarding the matter.

It’s unclear when the M1 tanks will arrive in Ukraine, as Biden said it would “take time” to send them over. However, it’s a sign that America — and the West — continue to stand with Ukraine in its efforts to drive Russia out of its country.

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