Poland has become the linchpin of NATO’s eastern defenses. Recognizing Poland’s important geostrategic position, the U.S. has deployed significant forces to that country, including a rotationally deployed Armored Brigade Combat Team (ABCT) and the prepositioned equipment for a second ABCT. Simultaneously, the U.S. has underwritten Warsaw’s military modernization campaign by providing critical advanced weapons systems including F-35s, Patriot air defenses and HIMARS rocket artillery. The U.S. has approved the sale of more than 360 M1 Abrams tanks, the same type used by U.S. ABCTs. But after taking this significant step, Washington allowed Warsaw turned to South Korea to provide it with 1,000 additional main battle tanks. This will complicate interoperability and access to spare parts. Why is the U.S., which has additional M1s that it could provide to this important ally, letting Poland buy tanks from South Korea? I have written more about this decision here.
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