After pledging to supply Ukraine with modern heavy tanks, many Western nations have now discovered that a significant part of their weaponry is not fit to take part in any conflict, The UK’s Secretary of Defence Ben Wallace has said.
In a Saturday interview with Der Spiegel, Wallace noted that Germany organized a meeting with its NATO allies this week to discuss tank deliveries. “That’s when the problems became obvious. The political decision is there… The politicians sent their military to the depots only to find that their tanks are not operational or repaired for delivery to Ukraine,” he said.
According to Wallace, NATO has to face the painful truth that “our armies have been more or less hollowed out over the last 30 years… There are numbers of how many tanks each country has. But then there is the reality that tells us that far too few of them are operational,” he noted.
When asked whether the tanks would arrive in Ukraine on time, the British defense chief made a call to “give the other partners a little more time,” describing Western-made armor as “not a silver bullet to win the war instantly” and highlighting the importance of training Kiev’s troops.