Small Wars Journal

A Call to Action: Lessons from Ukraine for the Future Force

Sun, 06/30/2024 - 1:23pm

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A Call to Action: Lessons from Ukraine for the Future Force


John A. Nagl, Project Director
Katie Crombe, Chief of Staff

This book explores the changing character of war through the lens of the Russia-Ukraine War. The authors analyze the conflict’s history, each side’s warfighting functions, the role of multidomain operations, and more. The radical changes in the character of war suggest the United States is at a strategic inflection point. The authors draw lessons from both the Ukrainians and the Russians to suggest improvements for the United States. Advances in drone technology, cyber warfare, and electromagnetic warfare pose new technological vulnerabilities and possibilities. In addition, the war has highlighted the roles of allies in deterrence and training as well as how leadership styles within the military—specifically, in the implementation of mission command—can be a decisive factor. As the Russia-Ukraine War has demonstrated, modern conflict touches a plethora of domains; thus, having sufficient personnel who are ready to fill a variety of capacities will be critical in the future. Finally, the war has shown history and justice are critical aspects of going to war and achieving peace, so crafting a narrative and satisfying stakeholders will be necessary for establishing a stable world order. The Russia-Ukraine War foreshadows the challenges the United States will face in future conflict and highlights the keys to adapting to modern warfare.

Researchers: Gabriella N. Boyes, John “Jay” B. Bradley III, Larry D. Caswell Jr., Steven L. Chadwick, Jingyuan Chen, Jason Du, Brian A. Dukes, Volodymyr Grabchak, Matthew S. Holbrook, Clay M. Huffman, Rebecca W. Jensen, Jamon K. Junius, Thomas R. Kunish, Jason R. Lojka, Albert F. Lord Jr., Syeda Myra Naqvi, Dennis M. Sarmiento, Vincent R. Scauzzo, Povilas J. Strazdas, Marlon A. Thomas, Stephen K. Trynosky, Darrick L. Wesson, Sean M. Wiswesser

Interns: Max Blumenfeld, Bridget Butler