Espreso. Global
OPINION

The long war can end suddenly

16 February, 2024 Friday
16:05

I have already said and written that Putin's main achievement in 2023 was to impose a long war on everyone

However, a long war does not mean that it will simply drag on for years, somewhat like the Anti-Terrorist Operation. A long war means that the parties have reached a balance of power, have enough resources to continue fighting, but not enough to turn the tide.

Nevertheless, a long war can end suddenly. I have already written that in a long war, the original goals and reasons for the war lose their meaning for all parties. The only thing the parties are fighting for is "not to lose," but this struggle is exhausting them more and more and creates the preconditions for a sudden end.

This is what happened in the First World War, with which the current situation at the front is often compared. Back in June 1918, the Germans were 56 kilometers from Paris, and on August 8, the Allied operation of Amiens actually marked the beginning of the end of the war. It was not a total defeat; the Allies advanced about 11 kilometers, the Germans lost 74,000 soldiers (including POWs), and the Allies lost 46,000.

The reason for the Allies' success was different: the morale of the Germans was broken. They began to surrender and retreat en masse. The troops were severely exhausted and demoralized, the economy was depleted, politics suffered from revolutionary movements, and the far from the most powerful Allied operation triggered a domino effect, and on August 13, the German bet began to discuss the issue of an armistice.

A long war is won not so much by military force, as we saw in the First World War, but by other important factors:

1. The fighting and morale of the army and society. Lack of ammunition, equipment, unsuccessful operations, enemy successes - all this can break the spirit of soldiers and people. It doesn't manifest in people just saying "let's stop.” On the contrary, at first they begin to agree to change the goals and reasons for the war. For example, "we don't need Crimea anymore". Later, they increasingly want to end the war and don't care how it ends.

2. Trust. A change of leadership at any level is a serious risk for a governance system that is under serious enemy pressure. Changing the leadership is not only possible, but necessary. Leadership changes are not only feasible but sometimes imperative. After all, factors like burnout, "blurred vision," or being overstretched do come into play. However, these changes must never erode the trust of the army and society.

Hence, the replacement of a trusted leader necessitates a comprehensive explanation of the reasons behind such a decision. Moreover, any change should only involve a leader who commands an equal measure of support and trust.

3. Management system. When a war starts, it quickly mobilizes the best people and resources. As the war drags on, the more cunning, vile and corrupt ones start to win. This once again confirms the thesis that changes are necessary. But at the same time, the system works as a whole. If any unit falls out due to a crisis in leadership, the entire system is affected.

As I said, our war has become long, but it can end suddenly. The crucial factor is ensuring that we are not the instigators of this sudden turn.

Source

About the author. Victor Andrusiv, political and public figure, analyst and publicist

The editors do not always share the opinions expressed by the blog authors.

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