Sending four tanks to Ukraine was a “token donation,” says a well-known military expert.

Former defence advisor and military historian David J. Bercuson said Canada donated four Leopard-2 tanks to Ukraine because of tremendous political pressure, rather than a desire to support the country. He told True North the donation is frivolous.

“I mean, what are you going to do with four tanks?” said Bercuson. “That’s not even a formation.”

Bercuson, the author of many books on Canadian military history, said the donation is comparable to being an item on Canada’s diplomatic agenda. He said Canadian leaders truthfully appear uninterested in providing support to Ukraine, due to their spotty record of donations.

“It’s always a little bit here, a little bit there, not very much of anything,” he said. “It seems to me that we have been dragging our feet from the first minute we ever made an announcement of sending anything.”

When asked about Minister Anita Anand’s comment that she may donate additional tanks in the future, Bercuson said the comment was public-opinion maneuvering. 

“That’s the way she tries to fob-off the press and critics of the government,” he said. “Why can we only send four? Where are the rest of them?”

Bercuson is a retired director at the Centre for Military and Strategic Studies at the University of Calgary. He has served as special advisor to the minister of national defence, and as an honorary lieutenant colonel in the Canadian Forces.