Mié. Feb 8th, 2023

After weeks of discussion, the Biden administration is preparing to send Abrams tanks to Ukraine, according to three senior US officials.

The administration can announce the decision as early as Wednesday. The current plan includes a couple dozen Abrams tanks, but officials stressed that the decision is not yet final and could change.

The tanks would not be immediately available to the Ukrainians. It will be many months before the high-tech vehicles arrive in Ukraine, the officials said, and the training of Ukrainian troops is also expected to take several months.

The tanks would be paid for through the Ukrainian Security Assistance Initiative, which draws weapons and equipment from private industry rather than American stockpiles.

The decision to go ahead with supplying the tanks would be a setback for the Biden administration, which had resisted pressure from Germany to send them to Ukraine.

Last Friday, US officials insisted that President Joe Biden was unwilling to provide Abrams tanks to Ukraine because members of his national security team, including Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin and Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff General Mark Milley, did not believe that it would be a net benefit to the Ukrainians given how difficult they are to operate and maintain.

One official also stressed at the time that Biden would not provide the Ukrainians with an expensive and difficult-to-maintain system that his team does not believe will help them against the Russians.

It was not immediately clear what may have prompted the Biden administration to apparently change its stance on sending the tanks.

Pentagon Press Secretary Brig. Gen. Pat Ryder declined to address the issue Tuesday at a briefing. «When and if we have something to announce, we will,» he said.

The previous Tuesday, The Wall Street Journal reported that the Biden administration is “inclined to send” Abrams tanks to Ukraine.

Por admin