Since the first week of Russia’s occupation of Ukraine, French President Macron has been using the phrase “We are not at war with Russia” as a slogan on behalf of his NATO colleagues.
This misconception has been conclusively debunked after almost a year has passed.
This week, the German Minister for Foreign Affairs, Annalena Baerbock, said that “we are conducting a war against Russia.”
Baerbock was attempting to calm the ire of Germany’s NATO partners by explaining the reasoning for Germany’s refusal to deploy Leopard 2 tanks to Ukraine. She is now in a position to assert her innocence. The German government has stated that it would provide Leopard 2 tanks to the Ukrainian army, which is a 180-degree turn from its earlier attitude on the matter.
In order to calm the concerns of German Chancellor Olaf Scholz, the White House performed a U-turn of its own and gave the go-ahead for the supply of 31 M1 Abrams tanks manufactured in the United States to Ukraine.
Scholz had urged that any German tanks be contingent on a comparable commitment from the United States. Before last week, the head of the Pentagon, Lloyd Austin, was “dead set against delivering” the M1s and said that there is “no relationship between providing M1s & providing Leopards.” However, this changed this week. Austin had maintained that the M1s were too unwieldy for use in Ukraine because they required expensive fuel, hefty maintenance, and extensive training.
According to the Washington Post, only one month ago, a top official in the United States Department of Defense claimed that “even one M1 was out of the question.” According to the source, it was difficult for the United States to sustain and repair the M1s while they were in use by US forces in Iraq. It has been determined that this is not conceivable for Ukraine. Even as recently as last week, a senior Pentagon official by the name of Colin Kahl dismissed the possibility of sending the “very complicated” M1, stating that “we should not be supplying the Ukrainians with systems they can’t repair, they can’t sustain, and also that they, over the long run, can’t afford.”
The view of the Pentagon is no match for the fervor in Washington over the use of proxy wars, as General Mark Milley discovered when he advocated for the use of diplomacy alongside Russia to put a stop to the conflict.
According to Politico, the White House changed its stance after “a parade of Republicans and Democrats in Congress “pressured the Biden government to grant Berlin’s request to send U.S. tanks first.” Politico notes that this occurred after “a parade of Democrats and Republicans” in Congress “pressured the Biden administration.”
According to the New York Times, which cites an official from the United States, “what the Pentagon was not putting into enough consideration was the tremendous anxiety among European nations of doing anything to antagonize Russia without getting the cover of the U. S. executing the same thing first.” The United States is unquestionably in the lead when it comes to provoking Russia.
When President Biden went against the advice of the Pentagon and announced the M1’s approval, Austin was right there with him. What President Biden had to say, “These tanks are additional proof of our lasting, unflinching commitment to Ukraine & our trust in the capability of Ukrainian soldiers.”