Predicting Military Performance Can’t Be Perfect. But It Can Be Better

A Ukrainian serviceman steps on the barrel of a destroyed tank near the village of Malaya Rohan, Ukraine, April 1, 2022 (AP photo by Andrew Marienko).
A Ukrainian serviceman steps on the barrel of a destroyed tank near the village of Malaya Rohan, Ukraine, April 1, 2022 (AP photo by Andrew Marienko).
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In the immediate aftermath of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, many military analysts found that their prewar predictions about the Russian military’s performance were wildly off the mark. Even if many had expressed doubts about Russia’s ability to sustainably achieve its strategic objectives in Ukraine, most experts shared the widespread expectation that the superior firepower and mobility of Russian forces’ combined arms operations would quickly overwhelm the Ukrainian military. In the months since then, endless post-mortems have dissected the particular Russian blunders and Ukrainian successes that determined the course of the war’s first weeks, and why military analysts were unable to […]

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