Are tanks obsolete? Not if combat involves tennis playing, as the video below demonstrates. No word if the tank can jump over the net if it wins.
After being totally blown away by the M1 Abrams’ speed and agility, I learned this video is FAKED. Still, this brings up a very real issue. If tanks in reality can’t play tennis, what are they good for?
Army Chief of Staff Odierno testified that in 2012 before Congress that “…we don’t need the tanks. Our tank fleet is two and a half years old on average now. We’re in good shape and these are additional tanks that we don’t need” (Military.com). Congress went ahead and approved the purchase of additional, unwanted tanks. The fact that tanks are produced in Ohio, a critical state in presidential elections is just a coincidence.
Even before Odierno testified, some folks were touting the tank’s demise. Some pointed to the widespread destruction of Israeli armor in the 1973 war by handheld anti-tank weapons as a sign of the tank’s obsolescence. On the other hand, Michael Peck in War is Boring notes that the Israeli losses happened when they violated basic tactical rules, such as failing to support tanks with infantry.
To get an idea about the debate I suggest you read a summary of different points of views in The Atlantic The Wire. It’s a bit dated, but the arguments are still relevant.