Once again the Biden administration showed the world how incompetent they are, from top to bottom.
Despite President Biden’s promise to send 31 Abrams M1 tanks to Ukraine on Wednesday, there are none in the US inventory so it could take months for the artillery to arrive, according to reports.
Biden announced the approval of the weapons on Wednesday after German Chancellor Olaf Scholtz announced Ukraine would also get Leopard 2 tanks from Berlin.
The New York Post reported that Pentagon spokesperson Sabrina Singh confirmed that the U.S. does not have enough M1 Abrams tanks in its stockpile to send over to Ukraine at this time.
“We just don’t have these tanks available in excess in our US stocks, which is why it is going to take months to transfer these M1A2 Abrams to Ukraine,” Singh told the Post.
If the tanks were in the Pentagon’s possession, it would take less than a week to get the tanks boxed and shipped. But when using the Ukraine Security Assistance Initiative, or USAI, program, it could take months or years because the government goes through procurement to identify and hire contractors to build the weapons.
The Pentagon earlier expressed reluctance to send the M1, which is now arguably the most aggressive weapon Washington has pledged to Kyiv since Russia invaded Ukraine 11 months ago.
On Jan. 19, Singh said, “it just doesn’t make sense to provide [M1s] to the Ukrainians at this moment” when asked about the prospective package. The spokesperson pointed at the time to the US tank’s logistical challenges, as its gas turbine engine requires jet fuel — unlike the diesel engine used by the Leopard and Challenger.
On Thursday, Singh said she stood by her prior comments, but denied that the Biden administration opted to use the USAI program to slow-walk the tanks’ delivery.
“We are using the USAI to show a long-term commitment,” Singh said. “It’s not about the delay; we just do not have these Abrams available in our stocks to give the Ukrainians at this time.”
Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin and Defense Secretary joined president Antony Blinkin, who described the tanks as the “most capable tanks in the world” which will enhance Ukraine’s ability on the battlefield.
“This is about freedom, freedom for Ukraine, freedom everywhere,” Biden said.
The decision to send tanks came after weeks of stalled and frustrated negotiations with Germany, which senior defense officials described as the “product of good diplomatic conversations.”
Earlier this month, Germany suggested it would not agree to send its tanks to Ukraine unless the U.S. did as well, citing concerns over escalating the war.
While senior defense officials would not confirm if the decision was a stipulation of Berlin’s or motivation from Washington to get Germany to roll out the Leopard tanks.
It remains unclear how long it will take to get the Abrams tanks up and running in Ukraine and defense officials did not say where the training will take place, though it was confirmed that the training would be held outside of Ukraine.
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