Twitter Space: Helping Russia Tank
The ground is still shaking from the announcement that Germany has agreed to send and allow allies to deliver Leopard 2 tanks to Ukraine impacting a host of diverse issues. Joining us from Munich, Dr. habil. Frank Sauer Senior Research Fellow, Universität der Bundeswehr München, shares his expert assessment with Roger Hilton on what Kyiv really needs moving forward on the battlefield, Germany’s Zeitenwende progress, where a potential Abrams tanks facility would be located in Europe, Russia’s tactical response to western tanks, and the taboo of hitting into Russia proper.
What are the key points discussed in the episode?
- In addition to delivering more advanced weapon systems to Ukraine, Western allies should not overlook the importance of delivering ammunition for various weapon systems to keep pace with Russia’s battle rhythm.
- Germany’s ongoing Zeitenwende process is moving forward but shouldn’t be defined in the context of arms delivery but the quest to build a more strategic culture over time with matching defence policies.
- With no existing M1 Abrams facility in Europe, Poland’s purchase of the America tank makes it the prime candidate to be a servicing center in proximity to Ukraine.
- Russia does not possess the capacity to dramatically escalate the conflict on the battlefield, and therefore continues to target soft civilian targets across Ukraine. At the same time, they are slowly adapting on the battlefield and showing signs of improvement like separating ammunition dumps.
- In terms of the next big arms delivery, it seems unlikely that allies will provide maritime assets, and will likely go with Ground-Launched Small Diameter Bomb (GLSDB) for the HIMARS system.
- In the future, if more controversial arms package are up for debate, Berlin will continue to ensure that the risk of escalation are shared and that policies between Berlin and Washington are in total lock step.
- It is still to be seen if down the line, Ukrainian allies will allow Kyiv to repurpose delivered equipment to strike deep inside Russian territory. There is no easy conclusion and will remain one of the toughest policy decisions for allies to consider the longer the conflict endures.
Listen to the full episode below.