Support Ukraine: NATO military for main battle tanks

DFrom a military point of view, the two military leaders of NATO consider it imperative that the Ukraine to supply western main battle tanks. “In a war like the one being fought, every type of equipment is required,” Admiral Rob Bauer, chairman of NATO’s military committee, said in Brussels on Thursday. “A tank is an important weapon system for fighting the Russians and pushing them back from territory that actually belongs to Ukraine.”

Thomas Gutschker

Political correspondent for the European Union, NATO and the Benelux countries based in Brussels.

The Supreme Commander of the Alliance for Europe, General Christopher Cavoli, added that “modern Western technology is superior to Russian technology”. This not only affects the tank as such, but also supplies, logistics and repairs.

Cavoli: Can deal with escalation

Both generals made the comments following a meeting of the NATO Military Committee at the level of the 30-member Chiefs of Defense. The situation in Ukraine, its strategy and its military needs were also discussed on Thursday. The chiefs of staff will meet with their defense ministers at the US air base in Ramstein this Friday to discuss specific deliveries to Kyiv, including battle tanks for the first time.

Cavoli stated that Allianz is able to manage the risks associated with such deliveries. “We have a variety of tools to deal with escalation, and a lively political debate that helps us,” said the American general, who took office last summer.

Some member states have so far refused tank deliveries, arguing that they could tempt Moscow to further escalate the conflict, including tactical nuclear strikes, should its troops go on the defensive.

Bauer explained that a Russian offensive in the spring was likely and that Ukraine had to prepare for it. The Dutch admiral also commented on the high need for ammunition on both sides. This was underestimated and considered a problem of the past, he admitted.

In fact, however, the war in Ukraine is being fought with old and new weapons, it is a trench warfare with drones and cyber capabilities. Lessons must be learned from this and larger stockpiles of ammunition must be built up again. That takes time. But it will also take a while for Russia to replenish its supplies. This could take three to five or even ten years.

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