This month, the sale of 250 U.S.-produced Abrams tanks to Poland was officially announced. The sale, valued at USD $5.9 billion, is positive news for Polish national security. Though it had already purchased the High Mobility Artillery Rocket Systems (HIMARS), the Patriot air defense system, and the coveted F-35 fighter from the U.S., Poland’s acquisition of the M1—technically the M1A2 SEP v3—means that it will become a more secure buffer on NATO’s eastern front. Poland has been long overdue for an upgrade to its land combat vehicles; up until this point, Poland has relied on a patchwork of obsolescent Soviet-manufactured tanks and aging German Leopard tanks to deter aggression from Russia. The sale is also good news for the security of NATO’s eastern front as a whole. Russia’s military activity in the region for the last decade has underscored the true vulnerability of former Soviet countries to Russian encroachment through a conventional attack. I have written more on this topic here.
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