Retired Army Lt. Col. Daniel L. Davis claims the United States has “no plan” in Ukraine during a recent interview with Breitbart. Davis also said there is increasingly real danger of invoking NATO’s “mutual defense” clause, which would trigger a nuclear war. One of biggest news stories last week was agreement of NATO allies to supply Ukraine with tanks, but Davis also told Breitbart that “NATO tanks does not equal battlefield success.” A Defense Priorities senior fellow and military expert, Davis “spent over two decades in active service, which included combat deployments in Iraq and Afghanistan, and was awarded two Bronze Star medals.”
One of the biggest topics of discussion during the interview was NATOS new commitment to supply Ukraine with tanks in what Davis calls a “huge information operation ‘game changer.” But he cautions that “information operations and claims don’t translate into reality on the battlefield.”
“From someone who has done combat operations in tank-on-tank fights; in operations patrolling the East-West border during the Cold War and its potential Soviet invasions; and was the second-in-command of an armored cavalry squadron for the First Armored Division in the mid 2000s in Germany; I can tell you that just having NATO tanks does not equal battlefield success,” explained Davis. He argues that is will be hard to properly train Ukrainian soldiers in the new tanks, “The problem is that what works on video games and on paper — you have to make it work on the ground. And it’s not just the platform, though that is very important, but roughly 90 percent of the success is the people who operate the equipment.”
“You can’t send 500 [Ukrainian] dudes to Germany and conduct six weeks of maneuver training and think you’re going to get the same output, because those guys don’t have the experience,” says Davis spent his entire life training to operate tanks like the U.S. M1 Abrams. It’s not likely that soldiers who have “never even seen this equipment” will “have to just fall in on it while they’re in [combat] potentially a few months from now — which is what they’re saying they’re trying to do — and it’s somehow those things are going to be effective in combat,” he continued.
Davis also points out that the Ukrainians already have thousands of tanks and the new Leopards and Abrams won’t really make a difference. “Well, the fact is they’ve got — depending on who you want to believe — somewhere around 1,000 tanks already and, according to Bloomberg, something along the neighborhood of 410 Soviet-era tanks have been given to them. Just what an Abrams or Leopard tank is going to do differently than the T72s, the T80s or the T64s that they have right now?”
Lastly, Davis states that the biggest impact from these new tanks is that “All you’re doing is making Russia want to go to war,” he warned. “Far from wanting to deter Russia or making them hesitate and count the costs – it’s having the exact opposite effect across the board in Russia.” “If anything, it makes them want to be more aggressive,” he added. “It makes them absolutely think we cannot lose this and double down on their efforts.