There are two sides to the message that came from Washington just before the Ramstein Group meeting.
On the one hand, according to information from “Politico”, the Biden government is apparently considering equipping the Ukrainians with wheeled armored personnel carriers of the Stryker type.
A system that Kyiv does not yet have.
On the other hand, the United States has rejected Chancellor Olaf Scholz's (SPD) condition for a delivery: Leopard 2s should only go to Ukraine if the Americans also make their own Abrams main battle tank available.
Editor in Politics
Follow I follow
US State Department spokesman Ned Price justified his administration's stance by saying that they "don't want to burden Ukrainians with systems" that they can't use, repair, and maintain.
We only want to provide them with what they can use effectively on the battlefield.
Apparently, Ukrainians adapt quickly to new systems
Secretary of Defense Colin Kahl also asserted that the Abrams was a "very complicated" armament.
It is expensive, requires difficult training and consumes a lot of fuel with its turbine drive.
Cost, training, complexity - similar arguments have been made against many systems, not just by the Americans.
According to reports, the Ukrainians are adapting the German Panzerhaubitze 2000 – another complex western weapon system – to the battlefield at lightning speed.
And it's not the only one.
Basically, the M1 Abrams is a main battle tank of similar age to the Leopard 2, having been produced over 9,000 times and used by a wide range of armed forces today.
The first models were delivered to the American armed forces in 1980, two years later when the first Leopards went to the German armed forces.
They were both designed to fight Soviet troops on the European battlefield.
And as their main armament, both now even have a 120 mm smoothbore cannon.
The main difference between the two models is the drive.
Unlike many other western main battle tanks, the Abrams features a gas turbine in its American configuration.
One of its advantages is that it can be operated with almost any fuel (usually petrol, diesel or kerosene).
However, their consumption is immense.
The capacities are already planned
However, the extent to which the gas turbine actually prevents delivery to Ukraine is controversial.
According to German experts, the maintenance of an Abrams is only slightly more complex than that of a Leopard 2 and also much easier than the old Soviet main battle tanks with which the Ukrainians have been fighting the Russians up to now.
Ben Hodges, former lieutenant general and commander of the American land forces in Europe, is even clearer.
What the American government is citing against the delivery of the Abrams are "all just excuses" and not a legitimate reason for their own policies.
The Ukrainian armed forces have proven that they can operate a variety of different weapon systems under wartime conditions.
Getting to know the Abrams and operating it expertly would take a third of the normal training time, Hodges believes.
In any case, the US armed forces are not lacking in reserve tanks.
The London Institute for Strategic Studies assumes that the American army has more than 3,450 replacements in addition to 2,645 active Abrams.
In order to make the tanks operational, however, the American armaments industry would have to free up capacities that are already planned.
Poland alone has ordered 250 new and 160 used Abrams to be delivered in the coming years.
A further 120 Abrams are being delivered to Australia and 107 to Taiwan.
The needs of the American army are not even taken into account.
The Stryker, which could now be delivered, is not a battle tank and is unsuitable for a duel with it.
But at least in some versions it has the potential to provide a significant amount of fire support.
One version of the Stryker has a 105mm gun, another has a 120mm mortar.