Specifically, the U.S. and German governments have agreed to supply Ukraine with dozens of M1 Abrams and Leopard II tanks, respectively, in a decision that Russian President Vladimir Putin is taking extremely personally.
"The Biden administration announced Wednesday that it will send 31 of its premier battle tanks to Ukraine, following agreement with Germany for the delivery of scores of its Leopard 2 tanks from across Europe," the Washington Post reported this week. "The decisions end months of debate among Western allies and pave the way for a major shift in the balance of power on the Ukrainian battlefield.
"President Biden said after morning calls with European leaders that the decisions belied Russian President Vladimir Putin’s belief that the West would eventually tire of its commitment to Ukraine and 'break up' its coalition," the report continued, adding:
For NATO, founded as a defensive alliance in the wake of World War II, the supply of battle tanks and hundreds of other armored vehicles also being transferred to Ukraine is a prelude to what is shaping up to be ground warfare of a scale not seen in Europe for more than seven decades. While the United States and its allies insist they have no desire to engage Russia directly, the decisions significantly up the ante of how far they are willing to go to help evict Putin’s forces.
Remember when Donald Trump was president and the U.S. actually did not start any new wars or become engaged in any?
“We are fully, totally and completely united,” 'President' Joe Biden said in a brief address at the White House earlier this week following the disastrous decision. “Today’s announcement builds on the hard work and commitment of countries around the world. … That’s what this is about — helping Ukraine defend and protect Ukrainian land.”
That said, the M1s are not going to be transferred from existing U.S. military stockpiles; they are going to be placed on order and manufactured because existing Abrams tanks contain highly classified materials that make them highly survivable on the battlefield. That means Ukraine won't get our best tanks, and those will likely wind up like Russia's tanks -- smoldering heaps of metal.
Ditto for the Leopard II's.
Nevertheless, the Post noted that the objective in Europe "is to quickly assemble two Leopard tank battalions — equivalent to at least 70 tanks. As a first step, Germany will provide a company of 14 Leopard 2A6 tanks from its army’s stocks, the government in Berlin said in a statement. Germany’s Defense Ministry said it aims for the tanks to be on the battlefield by the end of March. That leaves a tight window for logistics and training expected to begin within days."
Still, some U.S. military experts are enthused about the escalation.
"If true, this could be a true pivot point in the war," former NATO Supreme Allied Commander James Stavridis , a retired U.S. Navy admiral, posted on Twitter. "Well done, Germany, and 'Danke Schoen.'"
If true, this could be a true pivot point in the war. Well done, Germany, and “Danke Schoen”https://t.co/i9V8ueQ18n
— Admiral James Stavridis, USN, Ret. (@stavridisj) January 24, 2023
“A Leopard coalition with partners worked!” Ukrainian Defense Minister Oleksii Reznikov tweeted Wednesday as well. “Leopards look good on Ukraine!”
The Post added: "The U.S. plan calls for sending enough tanks for one Ukrainian battalion, 30, plus one for command and control, Kirby said. The administration also will send eight M88 armored recovery vehicles, designed to tow and repair tanks."
World War III is just over the horizon. It's only a matter of time before China strikes Taiwan.