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US Media Gives Thoughts on Where Abrams Tanks Should Be Delivered Instead of Ukraine

© AFP 2023 / MATEUSZ SLODKOWSKIA US Army soldier signals the way to a M1A2 Abrams battle tank that will be used for military exercises by the 2nd Armored Brigade Combat Team, at the Baltic Container Terminal in Gdynia on December 3, 2022
A US Army soldier signals the way to a M1A2 Abrams battle tank that will be used for military exercises by the 2nd Armored Brigade Combat Team, at the Baltic Container Terminal in Gdynia on December 3, 2022 - Sputnik International, 1920, 24.01.2023
Last week, US Undersecretary of Defense for Policy Colin Kahl made it clear that Washington is not currently ready to deliver its Abrams tanks to Ukraine, citing possible problems in maintenance and training.
A US newspaper has reported that Washington should consider sending the US M1 Abrams main battle tanks to Taiwan rather than Ukraine because the move would comply with the White House’s geopolitical factors.
The newspaper described Ukraine as “a case study in the failure of deterrence”, arguing that Taiwan is “much more important” to the US’s “security and prosperity.”
“Any tanks we can spare should go to Taipei,” the news outlet insisted as it claimed that Taiwan is “under the constant threat of a Chinese invasion and needs advanced weapons to deter Beijing.”
Ukrainian servicemen repair a tank near Kremennaya, LPR, on January 12, 2023 - Sputnik International, 1920, 18.01.2023
What Tanks Did Western Countries Deliver to Ukraine?
The newspaper also asserted that “much of the GOP worries that the US isn’t doing enough to take on China.” According to the outlet, “this means shifting the bulk of our [Washington’s] attention and resources to the Indo-Pacific, where the geopolitical center of gravity and most US interests are.”
The US ended formal relations with Taiwan in 1979, as stipulated in the second communiqué and the US Congress-ratified Taiwan Relations Act that came into effect that year.
Since then, the US has maintained a “strategic ambiguity” policy of neither encouraging Taiwanese independence nor the island's reconciliation with Beijing. Under the Taiwan Relations Act, the US continues to provide the island with arms to help Taipei to defend itself in the event of any military event. This is vehemently opposed by Beijing, which sees Taiwan as an essential part of China, rejecting, however, a military scenario when it comes to the island’s reunification with the mainland.
The situation around Taiwan escalated after then-US House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and other high-ranking US officials, visited the island in early August 2022. China condemned the trip, dubbing it a gesture of support for separatism, and launched large-scale military exercises in the vicinity of the island in a retaliatory move.
The US newspaper’s report comes after US Undersecretary of Defense for Policy Colin Kahl told reporters last Wednesday that he “just” doesn’t think “we're there yet,” when asked about whether Washington will provide Kiev with Abrams tanks.
"The Abrams tank is a very complicated piece of equipment. It's expensive, it's hard to train on, it has a jet engine - I think it's about three gallons to the mile with jet fuel. It is not the easiest system to maintain," Kahl said.
In a separate development last week, the newly-appointed German Defense Minister, Boris Pistorius, said that no decision has been made yet regarding the supply of the country’s main Leopard 2 battle tanks to Ukraine.
A Ukrainian artilleryman throws an empty 155MM shell tube as Ukrainian soldiers fire a M777 howitzer towards Russian positions on the frontline of eastern Ukraine, on November 23, 2022. - Sputnik International, 1920, 23.01.2023
Kremlin on NATO Talks of Supply of Tanks to Ukraine: Anxiety Among Alliance Members Grows
A German newspaper reported, citing sources, that Germany’s Chancellor Olaf Scholz, in a conversation with US President Joe Biden last Tuesday, made it clear that his country would supply Ukraine with Leopard 2 tanks, but on the condition that Washington also sends its Abrams tanks to Kiev.
Western countries have been ramping up their military support for Kiev since the beginning of the Russian special military operation in Ukraine on February 24, 2022. In April, Moscow sent a note to NATO member states condemning their military assistance to Kiev. Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov warned that any arms shipments on Ukrainian territory would be "legitimate targets" for Russian armed forces.
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