President Joe Biden pledges tanks to Ukraine as war nears one year anniversary
WASHINGTON (Gray DC) - President Joe Biden pledged 31 M1 Abrams tanks to Ukraine Wednesday to assist in its fight against Russia. The $400 million move further entrenches the U.S. role in the war coming up on its first anniversary.
“It will enhance the Ukraine’s capacity to defend its territory and achieve its strategic objectives,” said President Biden in a roughly 10-minute address.
The president said the tanks are equivalent to adding one Ukrainian battalion to the battlefield. The president also acknowledged the equipment is complex, so parts and equipment necessary to sustain the tanks are heading to Ukraine as well.
Ukraine President Volodymyr Zelenskyy showing his gratitude on Twitter, saying, “Thank you POTUS for another powerful decision to provide Abrams to Ukraine. Grateful to the American people for leadership support! It’s an important step on the path to victory. Today the free world is united as never before for a common goal – liberation of Ukraine. We’re moving forward.”
With more heavy firepower en route to Ukraine, the president addressed concerns over escalated U.S. involvement in a European war.
“It is not an offensive threat to Russia,” said President Biden.
The president also acknowledged increased commitments from NATO allies, including Germany who resisted before announcing it would send 14 of its powerful Leopard 2 tanks to Ukraine. These announcements come as some in the U.S. fear being too involved in Ukraine.
“The American people, they need to be kept abreast of what’s going on too. We’re spending a lot of money and right now, we’re struggling in a lot of areas here ourselves,” said Sen. Tommy Tuberville (R-Ala.).
Tuberville says it is essential to protect Europe and set Ukraine up for success, but the administration needs to avoid getting American soldiers involved.
Senator Rand Paul (R-Ky.) says sending these tanks could have negative consequences.
“I’m worried about what the country looks like with five more years of war, and I think that the more weapons that are poured into the war, the longer the war will occur,” said Paul.
It is unclear exactly when the Abrams tanks will find their way to the frontlines with delivery and training expected to take months. February 24 will mark the one-year anniversary of Russia’s invasion.
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