BY Ryan Ledendecker, The Western JournalJanuary 26, 2023
1 year ago
BY 
 | January 26, 2023
1 year ago

Biden Announces Major Shipment is Heading to Ukraine - Will This Escalate Russian Tensions?

Another week in President Joe Biden's America almost always means a new military aid shipment to Ukraine.

This week's shipment is shockingly different, and some believe it could be a significant escalatory move that could send Russian President Vladimir Putin over the edge.

Fox News reported Wednesday that Ukraine will soon receive "'hundreds' of tanks" from a handful of countries to ramp up its defensive capabilities in the face of a possible Russian escalation of a war that, next month, will have lasted one year. Thirty-one of those tanks, Biden announced, will be one of America's most powerful and deadly weapons systems on the battlefield, the M1 Abrams tank.

Biden, with Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin and Defense Secretary Antony Blinken by his side on Tuesday, announced the move.

"Today, I'm announcing that the United States will be sending 31 Abrams tanks to Ukraine, the equivalent of one Ukrainian battalion. Secretary Austin has recommended this step because it will enhance the Ukraine's capacity to defend its territory and achieve strategic objectives," Biden said.

"The Abrams tanks are the most capable tanks in the world. They're also extremely complex to operate and maintain, so we're also giving Ukraine the parts and equipment necessary to effectively sustain these tanks on the battlefield. We'll begin to train the Ukrainian troops on these issues of sustainment, logistics and maintenance as soon as possible," Biden added.

[firefly_poll]

Biden also stressed that the gift of billions worth of advanced battle tanks, training and the logistics that will go into such an operation "is not an offensive threat to Russia."

Sure, Mr. President, we'll see what Putin says about that. How do we know what the Ukrainian military will do with such a massive upgrade in defensive and offensive military capability? Once they're trained and operational on the Abrams tank system, there's simply no telling what happens next.

The president's full briefing can be viewed below.

"This is a tremendous new capability that Ukraine will be getting to boost its long-term defenses," a U.S. defense official reportedly told Fox News.

Adding fear that the Ukrainian military might have different ideas about how they'll use the tanks they receive from the United States and several other countries, including Germany, Newsweek recently reported that Mikhail Podolyak, a Ukrainian military adviser to President Volodomyr Zelenskyy, claimed that in the near future, the war could reach the doorstep of major Russian cities, including Moscow.

"An internal escalation of the war in Russia is inevitable, and different strikes will be carried out on different targets," Podolyak reportedly told a Russian journalist.

"Cities that are pampered, such as Moscow, St. Petersburg and Yekaterinburg will be subject to strikes," he added.

Bizarrely, Podolyak noted that such actions wouldn't necessarily be carried out by Ukrainian military forces but would happen "by [a war of] internal means of a protest nature."

He added, "But, nevertheless, the escalation of the war will be inevitable inside Russia ... this escalation will be an internal problem for the Russian Federation."

I'm not an expert, but I'm confident that many would agree that if the war escalated due to Russian cities taking a hit by Ukraine or other forces, the possible retaliatory actions by Russia would mean those tanks could eventually be used offensively. Why wouldn't they? It would be a total disaster on both sides at that point.

The delivery of America's finest battle tanks to Ukraine will take months, and a senior defense official told Fox News that it's considered a "long-term commitment." In the meantime, Ukraine will have at least two Leopard tanks sent from Germany to bolster its defensive capabilities.

How, exactly, will the Ukrainian military learn how to use the tanks and maintain them? The U.S. military spends considerable time and money training tank crew members to operate the advanced machines and keep them functioning in war. That same advanced training will need to take place to get Ukrainian troops to the same level.

Will U.S. troops be sent in if something goes wrong with the tanks? Only time will tell. The amount of money and time that will take is unfathomable.

Nothing about this sounds good or right.

This article appeared originally on The Western Journal.

Written by: Ryan Ledendecker, The Western Journal

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