President Joe Biden told the American public yesterday that the United States will be sending 31 Abrams tanks to Ukraine. This is reversing a position he held last year when he said making that move would help start “World War III.”
Biden told a gathering of House Democrats in Philadelphia in March 2022: “The idea that we’re going to send in offensive equipment and have planes and tanks and trains going in with American pilots and American crews — just understand, don’t kid yourself, no matter what y’all say, that’s called World War III.”
Now Biden is changing his tune saying: “That’s what this is about — helping Ukraine defend and protect Ukrainian land. It is not an offensive threat to Russia, there is no offensive threat to Russia.
“As we approach the one-year mark with Russia’s full-scale invasion of Ukraine, we remain united and determined as ever in our conviction and our cause.
“These tanks are further evidence of our enduring, unflagging commitment to Ukraine and our confidence in the skill of the Ukrainian forces.”
"Why are you taking this decision now? Did Germany force you to change your mind on sending tanks?"
Biden, laughing: "Germany didn't force me to change my mind…that's what we were gonna do all along." pic.twitter.com/J6yorogetk
— Townhall.com (@townhallcom) January 25, 2023
Biden added somewhat dubiously about the hardball tactics Germany played when they refused to send Leopard tanks to Ukraine unless we sent Abrams tanks:
“Germany didn’t force me to change my mind.
“We wanted to make sure we were all together.
“That’s what we were going to do all along.”
A senior official said sending the tanks to Ukraine was made after “continued diplomatic conversations” over the last few weeks with European allies.
“President Biden will be or has spoken with Chancellor Scholz several times this month to coordinate on security assistance to Ukraine, including the joint announcement that we made a couple of weeks ago on Patriot missiles and the provisions of other assistance,” the official said.
According to NBC:
The decision is a reversal for the Biden administration, which had been resisting pressure from Germany to send the tanks to Ukraine. U.S. officials previously insisted that Biden was not inclined to provide Abrams tanks because members of his national security team, including Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin and Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Gen. Mark Milley, did not believe they would be a net positive for the Ukrainians given how difficult they are to operate and maintain.
Tucker SNAPS on Joe Biden after sending MASSIVE death tanks to Ukraine— WWIII?! pic.twitter.com/J1kwUw7eqU
— Benny Johnson (@bennyjohnson) January 26, 2023