After nearly a year of funneling billions of dollars to Ukraine amid its battle against invading Russian troops, the U.S. government recently announced an expansion of that assistance to include a shipment of 31 Abrams tanks.
The move represented a sharp contrast to President Joe Biden’s earlier statements dismissing rumors that the U.S. might send offensive military weapons to Ukraine. In fact, he declared in March that such an act would lead to “World War III.”
Now that the tanks are cleared for shipment to Ukraine, military experts are on heightened alert about the possibility of increased Russian aggression.
For retired Army Lt. Col. Daniel Davis, who operated tanks during his military career, the delivery of such equipment does not automatically guarantee a victory, particularly since Ukrainian forces do not have the training and expertise necessary to create a cohesive plan.
“The problem is that what works on video games and on paper, you have to make it work on the ground,” he explained. “And very few people anywhere in the western media or anywhere in the other media, for that matter, understand how to combat power is made.”
Worse yet, Davis predicted that such a provocative move by the U.S. and NATO allies could cause Russia to launch a nuclear strike out of desperation.
“All you’re doing is making Russia want to go to war,” he said. “Far from wanting to deter Russia or making them hesitate and count the costs, it’s having the opposite effect across the board in Russia.”
While the Russian military would be decimated by NATO forces in a traditional war setting, Davis noted that the nation has the world’s largest nuclear arsenal and could be goaded into using it if the U.S. and other Western nations continue waging a proxy war via Ukraine.
Davis is not alone in expressing serious concerns about the possible ramifications of Biden’s latest move.
Gaetz: What do you think about the decision to send Abrams tanks to Ukraine?@RepTimBurchett: I'm not a supporter of that. It's a slippery slope. Biden said, ‘if we send trains, tanks, and planes, that's World War III.’ Well, guess what Ukraine said today? Send us some planes." pic.twitter.com/qnTHN2MozR
— Rep. Matt Gaetz (@RepMattGaetz) January 27, 2023
The president seemed to acknowledge the mounting backlash, asserting in a White House statement that there is “no offensive threat to Russia,” adding: “If Russian troops returned to Russia … this war would be over today. That’s what we all want, an end to this war.”