Urban War, Logistics for the Upcoming Battle in Ukraine, and Putin

Sunday, April 17th, 2022

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What Happens Next is a podcast where an expert is given just SIX minutes to present his argument. This is followed by a Q&A period for deeper engagement.

Today’s topics Urban War, Logistics for the Upcoming Battle in Ukraine, and Putin.

Our Speakers are Anthony King, Ret. General Paul Kern and Angela Stent.

Transcript

Larry Bernstein:
Welcome to What Happens Next. My name is Larry Bernstein.

What Happens Next is a podcast where the speaker gets to present his argument in just Six Minutes and that is followed by a question-and-answer period for deeper engagement.

Today’s discussion will be on the War in Ukraine.

Our first speaker will be Anthony King is the Professor of War Studies at the University of Warwick in the UK. Anthony’s latest book is Urban Warfare in the 21st Century which is incredibly informative as to what street fighting will look like in Ukraine. There is much to learn from Chechnya and Iraq about urban war and what is necessary to win or achieve a stalemate.

Our second speaker will be Retired General Paul Kern and former Commanding General of the Army Material Command. Critical to the success for the war in Ukraine will be logistics and whether the warring party can resupply troops. Who better than Paul to help us understand the nature of the problem and how to solve it?

Our third speaker will be Angela Stent who is Professor Emerita at Georgetown and Director of the Center for Eurasian, Russian, and East European Studies. She is also the author of Putin’s World. I am excited to hear Angela’s reaction to Putin’s decision to attack Ukraine and what it means for his continued hold on power. Angela is an expert on all aspects of Russian leadership and Putin in particular so I can’t wait.

Check out last week’s What Happens Next with Nicholas Eberstadt who discussed why he thinks North Korea will attack South Korea and Irv Gellman who discussed his book entitled Campaign of the Century: Kennedy, Nixon and the Election of 1960.

You can find transcripts for this program and all of our previous episodes on our website whathappensnextin6minutes.com, and you can listen on Podbean, Apple Podcasts and Spotify.

Let’s begin with our first speaker Anthony King.

                                                              
 
 
 
 

Anthony King

Topic: Urban Fighting in Ukraine
Bio: Professor of War Studies at the University of Warwick
Reading: Urban Warfare in the 21st Century is here

Transcript

On the 24th of February 2022, Russian forces invaded Ukraine. The initial attempt was to depose the Zelenskyy regime in which little military force would be required.
The opposite happened. Zelenskyy regime consolidated, and the Ukrainian armed forces fought successfully.

The last six weeks of combat has taken place in major cities in Ukraine. Kyiv, Kharkiv, Mariupol and Kherson have been decisive, and the battle of Sloviansk is about to begin. Urban fighting has been at the forefront in contrast with Russian expectations. The Ukrainian fighters have operated from urbanized fortresses using javelin missiles.

Why is this interesting? If we look at western military history and doctrine for the last century, urban warfare is the subordinated element of military operations. From the first World War, armies sought to fight in the field through large-scale maneuvers facilitated by the tank.
The Battle of France would be an excellent example in 1940, where the Wehrmacht sought to punch its way through with its heavy armored divisions through the French lines and did so successfully.

Using large-scale maneuver in the field was a recurrent feature of 20th century warfare. The last example of this is the 2003 American invasion of Iraq where the Americans mounted a very impressive assault on Baghdad.

What shocked the Russians is the potency of the urban defense blunting heavy attack in the field.

The lesson of Ukraine will be Western armies need to reverse their traditional expectation of maneuver in the field towards a military operation which has more in common with medieval than with modern warfare that the siege operation to defend that fortress has taken priority over every other form of land warfare.

Anthony King Trascript:

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Ret. General Paul Kern

Topic: Logistics to Resupply Ukraine Army
Bio: Ret US General, Commanding General of the Army Material Command is here

Ret. General Paul Kern:

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Angela Stent

Topic: Putin
Bio: Professor Emerita at Georgetown and Director of the Center for Eurasian, Russian, and East European Studies
Reading: Putin’s World: Russia Against the West and with the Rest is here

Angela Stent:

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