Retired Air Force Brig. Gen. Blaine Holt told Newsmax on Monday it would be wise for Poland to wait before sending Leopard battle tanks to help Ukraine in its war against Russia.
But not too long.
Poland said it plans to ask Germany for permission to send the tanks to Ukraine. It needs Berlin's OK to send the German-made tanks to a non-NATO country. Germany has hesitated to approve supplying the tanks, fearing an escalation in tensions with Russia.
But on Sunday, German Foreign Minister Annalena Baerbock said Berlin would not seek to stop Poland from providing the tanks.
Holt told "The Record with Greta Van Susteren" that if Poland waits "a short amount of time, I think it would be in everybody's best interest if they did." Holt also said Poland, which shares its southeastern border with Ukraine, will not take too much time before delivering the tanks.
"In no case do I think Poland will hesitate for long," Holt told Newsmax guest host Bianca de la Garza. "I think Poland and the other countries understand that in the absence of weapons, Ukraine is going to be in very serious trouble in the days and weeks ahead."
The United Kingdom is the only country that has committed to sending battle tanks to Ukraine. The U.S. and other NATO countries have balked, despite pleas from Ukraine President Volodymyr Zelenskyy.
Holt said disunity among NATO nations — regarding the supply of heavy weaponry to Ukraine, as the war approaches its 11-month anniversary — is not a good sign.
"At the highest levels of strategy, we're making a huge mistake," Holt said. "We have a great opportunity to leverage this into negotiations. We can tell Russia we're about to bring very high technology to the battlefield that can change the outcome of this war very quickly. You would do well to back it up and let's look for a way out of this thing."
Without that, Holt said Russia could see an advantage to mount a major offensive now while Ukraine is vulnerable as it waits for more weapons.
"I can see the Russians looking down the barrel of much more advanced NATO weaponry and saying, 'We have to attack now,' and that means lethality now and an offensive now and we might be leaving our Ukrainian brothers and sisters uncovered."
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