Ukraine counteroffensive: Can there be a decisive battle in the modern era?


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How are wars won in the modern era? As Ukraine’s counteroffensive reports significant gains, especially in its Kharkiv offensive, we look at the concept of a decisive battle, and whether it is possible in the modern era - or what a decisive battle might look like if so.

Recorded in two parts, and covering past conflicts from the modern era including the Vietnam War, the First Gulf War and the 2003 Invasion of Iraq, and the recent Nagorno-Karabakh War, Intelligence Fusion analysts Matt Pratten, Alex Smith and Max Taylor explore the ideas of and differences between a tactical and strategic victory, and how these ideas will relate to the Russia-Ukraine war, particularly with regard to the purported Kherson offensive in the south of the country, and the subsequent tactical victories being reported by the Ukrainian armed forces in the Kharkiv offensive in the north in recent days.

What is a decisive battle? Is a military victory won through a single battle or through attrition? And is a strategic victory now more important than any at the tactical level?

Listen to the full episode of The Roundtable now.

NB: This podcast was recorded in two parts: on 5th September 2022, before the Kharkiv offensive began, and then on 13th September 2022, the day of release, to give as accurate and up-to-date information as possible.

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