Headline RoundupJanuary 25th, 2023

Why Were Germany and the US Reluctant to Send Tanks to Ukraine?

Summary from the AllSides News Team

The U.S. and Germany formally approved sending M1 Abrams and Leopard 2 tanks to Ukraine after weeks of debate and international pressure. But why were they reluctant in the first place?

For Context: Ukraine has requested modern battle tanks like the Leopard 2 since shortly after the war began, and an expected spring offensive by Russian troops has made those calls increasingly urgent. While Ukraine’s Western allies have sent plenty of other weapons — missiles, artillery systems, and more — they have been reluctant to send modern battle tanks. 

Recent Developments: American and German officials have cited logistical and maintenance issues as factors in their reluctance, as well as concerns for their own weapons inventories. As Ukraine’s Western allies debated sending tanks, some German officials said they wouldn’t send their own tanks — or allow other countries to send their Leopard 2s — unless the U.S. also sent its M1 Abrams tanks. Both the U.S. and Germany reversed course on Tuesday; the U.S. announced Wednesday that it would send 31 M1 Abrams tanks. 

How the Media Covered It: Ukraine’s tank requests were covered sympathetically across the spectrum. Right-rated outlets were particularly supportive of tank shipments and often featured commentators who supported the move. Explainers on Germany’s reluctance were more common in center and left-rated outlets, which publish “explainer” content more frequently than right-rated outlets do. 

Featured Coverage of this Story

More headline roundups

AllSides Picks

More News about Defense and Security from the Left, Center and Right

From the Left

From the Center

From the Right