The Thin Line of Escalation – Ukraine

Over the last few days many countries are contemplating sending tanks to aid Ukraine in its war effort. Tanks have an offensive capacity. Slowly munitions are getting more sophisticated and more costly. After tanks will it be aircraft?

If the USA sends tanks, then Putin might claim that the USA is directly engaged in war, even if the tanks are driven by Ukrainians. Getting a high tonnage of tanks from USA to Ukraine is not facile.

I guess the fear is that the newly mobilised Russian army will be finishing its training and ready to go into action.

In the second world war the Russian industrial behemoth ramped up tank production, to engage with the German Panther and Tiger Panzers. Some ~55,000 T34 tanks were built. Now Germany is being asked to allow Leopard tanks to engage.

Russia remembers and can start now to ramp up tank production before the West does, especially if it sees a long game. The West is unlikely to ramp up tank production anytime soon. It will be a slow starter.

There must be some latent memory of the tank battles on the Eastern front in German minds, which had a hand in the defeat of the Third Reich. There may be a sense of déjà vu.

Tank wars eat tanks.

The Israelis have perhaps the most recent experience of “meaningful” tank warfare. Losses are unavoidable. In the Iraq war the air superiority of the invaders was a more dominant factor.

Slowly, inexorably the West is getting dragged deeper into the conflict. We heard a lot about sanctions, not much is said of them now. Neither side is commenting publicly about military body bag count.

There could be a new Crimean war…

If the “new” Russian army starts to make significant gains into Ukraine, it seems likely that escalation in terms of munitions provisions by the West will occur.

Already there is war fatigue amongst not combatant nations. I don’t know if there is stomach for diverting resource away from car production to make military vehicles for free for the Ukraine.

Treading the tightrope, the thin line of escalation is risky. Thankfully Liz Truss and her gob are no longer in charge. One miscalculation could be very expensive indeed.

Sending your tanks as a “gift” can easily be seen as a justification and an engagement by proxy.

Do you ever get the feeling that the West {being so predictable} is getting drawn deeper into the trap of a chess player?

Looks dicey to me….

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