Invasion of Ukraine

The continuing tragedy unfolding in Eastern Ukraine is at risk of becoming so commonplace as to lose the world’s attention. In light of this risk, I set about reviewing the underlying political motives, which sparked the invasion. Before the Russians crossed the border friends asked me if Putin would invade. I was convinced that he would not, since I believed that he had already achieved … Continue reading Invasion of Ukraine

Russian Warfare

Winston Churchill once said: Battles are won by slaughter and maneuver. The greater the general, the more he contributes in maneuver, the less he demands in slaughter. What we are seeing in Ukraine is generalship of the worst kind. Like the child in the midst of a temper tantrum, the Russian military is attempting to bring Ukraine to its knees by senseless slaughter and wanton … Continue reading Russian Warfare

Offence vs Defence

One of the conclusions that Carl von Clausewitz reaches in his study On War is that the defence is the stronger form of war. (There are only two forms, hence the comparative tense.) Many of my students have found this difficult to understand, especially if they were American and raised on the idea that the ‘best defence is a strong offence.’ “The defensive form of … Continue reading Offence vs Defence

History Echoes

Public intellectual Tariq Ali once said that history echoes. Mark Twain said that history does not repeat itself, but that it often rhymes. In other words, the names and places and even the circumstances change but often we see the lessons of the past needing to be relearned in the present. It is a sad truth; it is part of the human condition. Learning is … Continue reading History Echoes


The Invasion of Ukraine offers a lesson to all those would would know more about military operations. Although this tragedy has not been going on for long, there is one lesson that stands out above all others. It is arguably the least ‘sexy’ but the most important: logistics. During my early life as an armour officer, I knew little of logistics and cared even less. … Continue reading Logistics

The Fallacy of Metrics

Russia’s Military Was Great Until It Wasn’t ( The essay above from The Atlantic is an excellent reminder that those interested in trying to understand war and warfare should stop listening to people who depend on counting and measuring in order to predict the future.  As Yogi Berra famously said, “Predictions are hard, especially when they are about the future.” Naturally, we need to consider what is … Continue reading The Fallacy of Metrics


There has been considerable speculation across various media platforms at the efficacy of armour in the Russian invasion. There are plenty of photos of dead tanks and burning vehicles. Video showing the inefficacy of Russian reactive armour is beginning to appear and some people are now using this ‘data’ to question whether we need tanks in modern war. First, this is not data; the beginning … Continue reading Tanks