Newsline

National Security , Newsline

Tanks to Ukraine – Unwise

Posted on Wednesday, February 1, 2023
|
by AMAC, Robert B. Charles
|
30 Comments
Ukraine

Sun-Tzu, 500 years before Christ, wrote: “Strategy without tactics is the slowest route to victory. Tactics without strategy is the noise before defeat.” Arguably, NATO has rallied to Ukraine’s survival strategy, tactics aside. Now, Biden gives M1-A1 tanks, a new tactic, to Ukraine – despite obvious reasons not to.  This is a fool’s errand, and may hurt America ahead. 

In short, these high-tech tanks are fancy, but take a year to get trained on, are costly to procure and maintain, will operate poorly without air support, are an asset even NATO allies do not have. They are in short supply – at a time when America could face a two-front war.

This may be one reason the Pentagon opposed the idea, until suddenly reversing course. And what does a sudden reversal of course tell you? What tell Russia? Tell China? Confusion.

Given the long lead time getting these assets, limited number available, dual use as offensive, and – ironically – ability to be outflanked or destroyed from the air, what are we doing?

Enthusiasts for ramping up the war will say – these are decisive and will “show Putin” who is boss, keep NATO in the game, maybe show China the US will defend Taiwan. Maybe. Or many the truth is far from these scenarios.

Ukraine battles to hold, optimally retake, some eastern territories. Russia now replenishes their manpower, ammunition, and hardware, doubling down on a southern port, ramping up their internal propaganda – using the West as a foil for Putin’s nationalist message, a decadent West waging an ever-bigger war against traditional Russian. Modern tanks only play into his narrative.

All this is bad theater, bad politics, bad forward thinking, and bad war fighting. The needs Ukraine has are urgent but simple, survivalist, should focus on deterring Russia’s ambitions, exploiting current weaknesses, not imagining a future where Ukraine “crushes” Russia.

To look a year out, hoping for good luck as Russia rebuilds, is like planning for oxygen the day after tomorrow, with none tomorrow – unwise. The idea of 30 high-stepping, state-of-the-art American tanks in Ukraine’s quiver is bold, but impractical, ill-timed, and could backfire.

More to the point, Ukraine is losing credibility – even with Putin playing the neo-Soviet, neo-Bolshevist, neo-fascist bully. The war has cost both sides. Prolonging it is worse than a fool’s errand – extending pain for those alive.

Moreover, it is time to be honest: Ukraine – as the West should be realizing – does not have clean hands. While Putin’s war is horrific, inexcusable, and painful to watch, pre-war Ukraine was a place of endemic corruption, fraught with an edgy, discomfiting history toward Jews, non-Ukrainian religions, and other minorities.

Even now, the Ukrainian government has used the idea of Russian spies to do what they have tried for decades, confiscate invaluable and historic Russian Orthodox Church properties, calling it necessary. This is not new, but is repulsive. Western silence allows Ukraine to conduct soft ethnic cleansing, seizing invaluable treasures from the traditional Russian Orthodox Church – priceless properties, like Kiev’s Cathedral and monastery. Ukraine’s behavior should give pause.

Bottom line: US and Western support for Ukraine is not really about Ukraine, it is about stopping Putin’s messianic and expansionist ambitions before they envelope NATO countries. It is about stopping Putin.

That said, flailing about in the name of righteousness, defending whatever bears Ukraine’s name, allowing Ukraine to persecute non-Ukrainian Christians, hold and prosecute them absent Western oversight, and upend centuries’ old Christian property ownership – all with “spend, spend, spend” attitude toward Western taxpayers – plays into Putin’s hands and sullying ours.

The time has come to pull back on the reins. State-of-the-art tanks for Ukraine may sound nice, but it is the wrong asset, wrong time, wrong reasons, overlooks how long it takes to deliver and train on these tanks, how few the US have, how costly they are, how easy to misuse.

Wiser would be direct, immediate support for realistic, near-term objectives, consistent with US and NATO strategy, not another seat-of-the-pants decision, way to perpetuate war against Russia, or false belief that China sees anything in this but bad planning, and a chance to drain us.

In the end, Ukraine’s cause is just, even if their hands are not clean. That means if as we aim to deter Putin, we need to think harder about what we give and why, what we buy and for how long. 

If we aim to keep Ukraine honest, we need to condition aid on accountability, human rights, religious tolerance, return of properties taken from churches, including the Russian Orthodox Church. We need to set benchmarks and block corruption. If we cannot get it, turn off the faucet.  

We need to stop stumbling and think “endgame” – offer less, give tactical support that fits a defensive strategy, stop imagining a silver bullet (or phalanx of tanks) will end this, be realists.  

As Sun-Tzu also wrote, understand your advantages, or “in the midst of chaos there is also opportunity.” The sudden reversal, giving fancy US tanks to Ukraine is ill-conceived, a wild tactic devoid of strategy, and you know…what Sun-Tzu said about that.

Robert Charles is a former Assistant Secretary of State under Colin Powell, former Reagan and Bush 41 White House staffer, attorney, and naval intelligence officer (USNR). He wrote “Narcotics and Terrorism” (2003), “Eagles and Evergreens” (2018), and is National Spokesman for AMAC.

We hope you've enjoyed this article. While you're here, we have a small favor to ask...

The AMAC Action Logo

Support AMAC Action. Our 501 (C)(4) advances initiatives on Capitol Hill, in the state legislatures, and at the local level to protect American values, free speech, the exercise of religion, equality of opportunity, sanctity of life, and the rule of law.

Donate Now
Share this article:
Subscribe
Notify of
guest
30 Comments
Most Voted
Newest Oldest
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments
EMash
EMash
1 year ago

So true. It is time to pause. Maintenance and training are important pieces of the puzzle which will most likely be provided by US military or civilian contractors. What will the response be if they are injured, killed or captured

Michael J
Michael J
1 year ago

Proxy war with Russia? These idiots are trying to end the world.

RBC
RBC
1 year ago

Well, Reds, appreciate the thought. As you might not know, Iraq was neither my choice nor my preference, but when called to be there and in Afghanistan, I was there. I was Navy intel 1998-2009, and A/S State for Powell in the first term so … we go where we are called to go, and sometimes that is not where we would have chosen to go. But thanks for the comment, and hope your service was similar and rewarding. Ps – Ukraine is about to get fancy tanks they cannot use for at least a year, with corruption high as Mexico, when no NATO ally has M1A1s like U. gets, when taxpayers have had their fill, and when we may have a two front war before us, and have insufficient tanks ourselves. Just a thought.

Dan W.
Dan W.
1 year ago

You are correct that our M-1 A-1 tanks won’t help in the short term because of training issues but the real purpose of our offer of a few of these tanks was to get Germany to provide a significant number of less sophisticated tanks that can be used for defensive purposes in the short term.

PaulE
PaulE
1 year ago

We’re talking 31 American tanks and 14 German tanks. About what would be needed to defend a city the size of Kiev. If 31 U.S. tanks being delivered to Ukraine over a several months or longer time frame would actually pose a real strategic readiness risk for the United States military, then we are certainly not in any way capable of taking on China or anyone else in the world outside a third rate banana Republic. Which is obviously not the case.

The world is in this mess, because of the gross incompetence and general unfitness of the Biden administration to lead. That is what led Putin to decide to invade Ukraine a second time. Team Biden has been slow to react and dragging its feet well before Putin crossed the Ukraine border.

Max
Max
1 year ago

RBC, at this point, the US/NATO strategy is all HIND sight. In the long run, this equipage will fall into Russian hands and its secrets divulged to the enemy. The Afghanistan disaster is again being IGNORED. NO LESSONS LEARNED or RETAIN

David Millikan
David Millikan
1 year ago

Excellent article and straight to the point.
Why is DICTATOR Beijing biden sending our Tanks to Ukraine leaving the USA more defenseless giving Ukraine access to the most advanced Tanks in the world. And what happens when they run away like the Afghanistan’s did leaving all that equipment to Terrorist?
He’s already sent vast majority of our ammunition to Ukraine and has only ordered 1/10th of ammunition to be replaced leaving US without sufficient ammunition to Defend ourselves.
Think I’m kidding? Do your homework.

Bob Stephenson
Bob Stephenson
1 year ago

My understanding from other news articles is the U.S. will supply the Ukraine with the M1A2 model, not the M1A1 model. Our top of the line model is the M1A3. We have “plenty” of the M1A1’s models on hand but fewer of the A2’s and even fewer of the A3’s. I’m surprised that China Joe, wrong as usual, isn’t sending the A3 models.

J. Farley
J. Farley
1 year ago

Here is my message to the war mongers, it’s time to stop being the world’s policemen we need to think about America, and our own safety and security. The best way for use to protect the small countries, it to be the peaceable tough guy in the world, we need to be so tough that the thugs of the world fear us, we use to be that country, but the Weasel woke Democrats and RINO’s have destroyed us Militarily and now the thugs of the world like Russia and China can have their way because they don’t fear us any longer.
Make America needs to be the tough kid on the block (The World) again and watch the thugs turn their tails and run.
Here is my take on our military, the leaders of the military want to teach our great service members, about Woke and Pink Panties. We need to teach them how to be rabid Dog mean tough.
How about the Ukraine, go to the Afghanistan they have 85-Billion dollars in military equipment that poop for Brains Biden left behind.
Spread billions around the world, while seniors suffer with inflation!

joe mchugh
joe mchugh
1 year ago

Oh no! Our Abrams tanks are being sent to Ukraine! Say it’s not so!

OK, time to take a deep breath here and read between the lines. The 31-Abrams that are being sent to Ukraine have yet to be built at our American factory, no existing Abrames will go to Ukraine.

The only reason that these new tanks will eventually be sent to Ukrtaine was to meet the German stipulation that the United States had to send some tanks too. With this American commitment, the Germans will allow the Leopard Tank to be sent to Ukraine.

The Leopard is a much more practical tank for the Ukrainians for several reasons. It is lighter and can cross over bridges that the Abrams cannot. It has a longer drive range using a Diesel engine that is easier to maintain. The leopard is also less complex and the Ukraine soldiers can be trained to use it much quicker. Compared to the Russian tanks the Leopard is superior in every way.

A year from now, when the brand new Abrams are finally received, the Ukrainians should park them just inside their Polish border and let them collect cobwebs. The Leopards can do the job without any help.

Oh, by the way. The new Abrams will be built without the secret improved armor with depleted urainium in its construction. These tanks will also lack the newest A.I. computer technology upgrade.
In short, even if these Abrams are captured by the Russians, they will not get the latest electronic American tank secrets.

Jeri
Jeri
1 year ago

Tanks are offensive weapons which joeblow promised some time ago he would not provide to Ukraine as it would put us in a war with Russia, but did it anyway. Now he is saying the same about F16s…anyone want to wager he eventually sends those as well? Anyone want to bet if he does the Ukrainian pilots would fly them into Russian airspace?

John Bass
John Bass
1 year ago

Demented joeys going to do what he’s told to do. We all know China controls him and his piece of sh^# son.

If you remember correctly joey was dragging his feet at the onset of the conflict, it was as if the US was going to allow Russia to retake Ukraine like Obambam did with Crimea. Comrade joe only started giving aid after receiving pressure from home and abroad. Now it seems the sky is the limit in giving Ukraine aid.

We’re depleting our stockpiles including giving some of our most advanced weapon systems to a country that as of a year or so ago was nothing more than a pay to play location for the big guys junkie of an artist son. Oh and of course, home to our so called illegal chemical weapons plants.

China in the meantime, a partner with Russia, is busy building warships, and aircraft, constantly harassing Taiwan, buying up American farmland, buying up Copper, Tin and Lithium mines, buying our Strategic Oil Reserves, and anything else of strategic or military value.

I thought we had learned our lesson from the China Virus, otherwise known as the pandemic, when we learned that most everything we needed and were in short supply of came from China…apparently not.

China is slowly tightening the noose around our throats and buying time. Their preparing everything they will need to win a conflict with us all while waiting for us to dissolve. Then I believe they will make their move.

Sorry RC, I try to stay positive but when the handwriting is on the wall.

Philip Hammersley
Philip Hammersley
1 year ago

There appears to be no “exit strategy” for Joey’s crusade against Putin. He us stripping OUR armed forces of necessary ordnance to prop up Zelenskyy. That original Billion dollars that Joe provided for firing the prosecutor investigating Hunter and Burisma has gone a long way!

H.L.Howell
H.L.Howell
1 year ago

Maybe the Ukrainians can use some of the millions that we have sent them to buy our tanks from afghanistan?

Big Ed
Big Ed
1 year ago

This is merely a continuation of Biden’s unmitigated stupidity as exemplified by the abandoning of $85 billion-dollars-worth of military armaments and materiel behind in Afghanistan for use by the Taliban. Not to mention the abandoning of the Bagram air base that we built. By sending tanks to Ukraine, Biden is only adding to his earlier mistakes. As an American taxpayer, I am outraged at the squandering of our country’s treasure on a Fool’s Errand, as Amac has so accurately characterized it. Putin is a nationalist and Zelensky is a globalist; and because Russia is perceived by the elites as an obstacle to their goal of a One World Government, or New World Order, they need Russia to embrace the globalist agenda. I fear that the Biden administration’s continued support of Ukraine will eventually lead to an escalation of the Ukraine-Russia war into a major, and potentially nuclear, World War III.

johnh
johnh
1 year ago

All i will say is that: the horrific tactics of Putin in Ukraine are one of the worst war crimes in history. How can a person attack so many women, children, old & young, etc. and not have a conscience of the brutality. Putin bombed at least two of the nuclear energy plants & is currently working at cutting off all energy sources so that Ukrainians will suffer even worse in cold weather. This man must be stopped as this is a crime against all humanity.

Dick W
Dick W
1 year ago

Pres. Biden is messing up this war. He is only giving enough support to prolong the war not have the Ukraine win it. Make no mistake this is a 1938 Czech moment. Ukraine needs to win this and the U.S. and NATO need to help.

bruce
bruce
1 year ago

I’m saddened by this article . I was hoping AMAC would give me real news stories . I can opinion stories from political people anywhere . This is something I find in major newspapers or network TV or maybe the Enquierer . Well I suppose some like to feed on this kind of bull**** , but I find it a bad influence for the underinformed .

RRC
RRC
1 year ago

The only place we need to send tanks is to the southern border. The socialist/democrats are pumping billions into Ukraine to protect their “assets” that they don’t want anyone to know about. It will be interesting to watch the final outcome. In the meantime we should pray for the people of Ukraine, NOT the politics.

An older blonde women laughing in the kitchen with a grey haired man.
AMAC’s Medicare Advisory Service
The knowledge, guidance, and choices of coverage you’re looking for. The exceptional service you deserve.
The AMAC App on 3 different iPhone
Download the AMAC App
The AMAC App is the place to go for insightful news wherever you are and whenever you want.
Biden Admin’s War on Women
China
Donald Trump speaking with supporters at a campaign rally at the Prescott Valley Event Center in Prescott Valley, Arizona.

Stay informed! Subscribe to our Daily Newsletter.

"*" indicates required fields

30
0
Would love your thoughts, please comment.x
()
x

Subscribe to AMAC Daily News and Games