It appears that Western tanks are headed to Ukraine, breaking another taboo. 

In late December, the US agreed to provide a Patriot air-defense system. And last week, Germany committed to offering a Patriot missile battery while France, Germany, and the US each promised to give armored fighting vehicles. Modern Western tanks will be added to the list of powerful weapons being sent. This is due to the stalemate on the battlefield, Ukraine’s determination to resist, and the lack of peace talks.

NATO allies are now relenting and have agreed to send new weapons, which include the most advanced American-made air defense systems. However, they have yet to approve sending fighter jets or longer-range missiles.

At the Pentagon, Laura K. Cooper, a deputy assistant secretary of defense, said last week at a briefing that “we absolutely agree that Ukraine does need tanks.”

“This is the right time for Ukraine to take advantage of its capabilities, to change the dynamic on the battlefield,” Ms. Cooper said.

Ukraine has asked for 300 Western tanks and 600 Western armored fighting vehicles, which they believe will make a difference. NATO allies are now considering sending as few as 10 Challenger 2 tanks from Britain and Polish tanks from Germany. For now, a meeting is scheduled for Jan. 20 at Ramstein Air Base in Germany to further discuss this topic. Biden’s administration has not pushed Germany to send tanks and allows it to make its own decisions. However, pressure from Britain, Poland, and Finland is increasing, and the tanks will likely be sent soon.

Getting Ready to Fight

As an expected Russian offensive is looming, authorities are attempting to change the equilibrium by rapidly furnishing the Ukrainians with weapons that were formerly seen as too provocative.

M1A2 Abrams Tank
M1A2 Abrams tank (Source: U.S. Army Europe/Flickr)

The US has agreed to send M1 Abrams tanks, which could be another game changer for Ukrainian Ground Troops. 

British Prime Minister Rishi Sunak suggested a strategy to increase support for Ukraine, starting with the tanks, at a National Security Council meeting. As the Russians are mobilizing hundreds of thousands of conscripts for their offensive, Ukraine is preparing to launch its own offensive. The issue of whether to allow Leopards to be sent to Ukraine is expected to be discussed on Jan. 20.

The US is in talks with Berlin, and the world has its eyes on Germany to see if they are ready to support Ukraine in the war.

Germany’s Chancellor Olaf Scholz and his party “want to keep a relationship with Russia and with Putin for the future, and thinks that if he gives Ukraine the best Germany has, Russia will perceive this as breaking a special relationship,” said Norbert Röttgen, a German opposition legislator and foreign-policy expert. “But pressure from allies is becoming too strong.”