John Kirby, the White House's strategic communications coordinator for national security, said Wednesday that the decision to provide advanced Western tank systems to Ukraine was both a diplomatic and military effort, noting that today's decision was "several weeks in the making."
"There was a lot of diplomacy that went into the announcements today," Kirby told CNN's Phil Mattingly. "The decision that you saw today, by both Germany and the United States was several weeks in the making through many, many discussions with the Germans and with our allies."
Kirby also said that it will likely take the Pentagon "weeks, not months" to finalize a training plan for the M1 Abrams tanks and get it underway, although he again underscored that procuring the tanks and finishing such training will take months.
"How long is it going to take? I really am not able to say. They're still working their way through that. We don't think that it will take too much longer. You know, I'd say probably, you know, weeks, not months before they're able to really nail down the details of this and start to start to put it in place — the training regimen," Kirby told reporters.
When asked later about whether the US plans to meet Ukrainian calls to provide Western fighter jets to Kyiv, Kirby wouldn't go into details and said it's unsurprising the Ukrainians are continuing to seek further capabilities.
"We're in constant discussions with the Ukrainians about their capabilities, and as I've said, we evolve those as the conditions change. Can't blame the Ukrainians for wanting more and more systems. It's not the first time that they've talked about fighter jets, but I don't have any announcements to make on that front," Kirby said.