⭐️ The art of strategy: How Ukraine could win [Part 2]
The key to Ukrainian victory lies in Moscow. Commentary by Dr Mike Martin
This is Part 2 of Dr Mike Martin’s commentary on Ukrainian counteroffensive. I recommend that you read Part 1 first — it should’ve arrived to your inbox right before this email.
I’ve invited Dr Mike Martin, former Army officer and now a Senior Visiting Fellow in War Studies at King’s College London, to help us clarify what the counteroffensive might look like. Mike is an expert on conflict and has authored several books on the subject. I read his most recent book, How to Fight a War, last week and I highly recommend it. Mike has been providing analysis on the war since the beginning. I’ve come to value his perspective and follow his updates on Twitter.
As a reminder, since Mike delivered this piece for us on Friday 21st April, it looks like the counteroffensive has begun.
How Ukraine could win, part 2
Strategy is the art of good psychology. In war, you are hoping to effect the psychology of your opponent so that your will prevails. And so the key to Ukrainian victory lies in Moscow. It is in the Russian halls of power that decisions about Russian troops in Ukraine are made. And so it is there that the Ukrainians need to have their greatest psychological effect.
Ultimately, because Putin won’t admit defeat, Ukraine needs Russia to have another leader, that is, a coup d’etat. Luckily, there are plenty of sharks circling in Moscow, plenty of different factions, and Russia has a history of changes of power after failed wars.
Working back from this outcome, Ukraine’s job in 2023 is to create a series of battlefield spectaculars that create the impression of unstoppable momentum, drain power away from Putin, and empower pretenders to the Russian leadership to attempt to take over, or negotiate Putin’s stepping down (probably on the grounds of ‘ill health’ which he is reportedly suffering from).
So what might these battlefield spectaculars look like?