[October 8, 2022] Since the invasion of Ukraine by Russian military forces on February 24th of this year, the war has demonstrated that what we believe about the conflict is often proved wrong by facts on the ground. Since my article titled Lessons Learned from the Ukraine War, several lessons have come forth.
The article identified five lessons; the importance of leadership/training/discipline, the importance of logistics, reducing electronic signatures, defense against drones, and keeping your troops stocked with munitions. These are classic lessons and no real surprise. I want to add ten more based on what has happened in the past few months.
- Economic warfare can cut two ways.
- Propaganda is best measured by how effective it is on battlefield morale.
- Combine arms warfare is crucial to winning battles.
- The importance of trained, motivated, and disciplined fighters.
- Adherence to the Laws of Land Warfare (and the post-war outcome).
- The West’s willpower is key to the defeat of Russia.
- Attrition warfare works.
- Any technological advancement in weapons can be defeated.
- Russia’s war crimes will affect the outcome of the war.
- Creative use of good intelligence and deception is key to operational battlefield wins.
Russian President Vladimir Putin is convinced that Ukraine cannot survive without help from the West, specifically the United States. That is why Putin has declared that he will use nuclear weapons to “defend Russian territory” and “voluntarily annexed portions of Ukraine” into mother Russia. Putin is gambling that the West’s willpower is weak and inconsistent (especially that of the United States) and can be turned if the war drags out.
At this time, all indications are that Russia will lose the war. But war has a nasty habit of turning out differently than recent trends indicate.
Please read my new book, “Our Longest Year in Iraq,” on Amazon (link here).