Foreign Affairs just posted the online version of a new article by Stephen Biddle on Ukraine that will appear in the September/October print issue. You can read it Here.
Titled, “Back in the Trenches: Why New Technology Hasn’t Revolutionized Warfare in Ukraine,” It argues that while the tools of war are often very new in Ukraine, the results of their use mostly haven’t been. This is because variation in the way combatants use technology is often more important for combat outcomes than changes in the technology itself, and both sides have already adapted their methods in Ukraine in ways that have dramatically reduced the net battlefield impact of new equipment. The result has been a war whose equipment can at times be 21st century but whose outcomes have looked more like the world wars than like a revolution in military affairs. This doesn’t mean that the US should freeze weapon modernization or doctrinal development. But it does mean that the transformation arguments often advanced in the public debate are a poor fit with the observed conduct of the Ukraine war to date. And it suggests that orthodox incremental adaptation, rather than radical change, may be a more effective response to the Ukraine experience to date.