One of the most serious crises since the end of the Cold War began with Russia's seizure and annexation of Crimea in March 2014 and subsequent 'secret' war in Eastern Ukraine. As more territory was taken from Eastern Ukraine, Western countries countered with economic sanctions directed against Russia. While the conflict did not escalate to the levels originally feared, over time, it became apparent that President Putin had failed to affect the regime change intended
in Ukraine, and Russia's economy had been damaged.
In Ukraine and the Art of Strategy
, Sir Lawrence Freedman provides an account of the origins and course of the Russia-Ukraine conflict through the lens of the theory and practice of strategy. That is, he explores Putin's near, medium, and long-term strategies when he decided to initiate the conflict. How successful has he been? In contrast to many who see Putin as a master operator who has resuscitated a supine Russia against all odds, Freedman is less impressed with his strategic
acumen in terms of the long-term fallout. By exploring concepts such as coercive diplomacy, limited war, escalation and information operations, Freedman brings the story up to the present, where a low-level conflict between Ukrainian and breakaway rebel forces in the east grinds on, and illuminates the external
challenges faced by the governments' involved.
Freedman's application of his unique strategic perspective to this supremely important conflict has the potential to reshape our understanding of it, and his analysis of the likely outcomes will force readers to reconsider the idea that Vladimir Putin is unmatched as a strategic mastermind. "Freedman places the war in Ukraine under the dispassionate eye of a master strategist and applying lessons from the study of deterrence, limited war, and strategic theory. His analysis is essential for thinking clearly about the war raging in the middle of Europe - and perhaps more important, for thinking realistically about how to end it." -Tom Nichols, author of The Death of Expertise "Freedman cuts through the fog of disinformation that has engulfed Ukraine, systematically challenging Western and Russian 'hot takes' alike, grounding his study in fact and imbuing it with just the right mix of wisdom and humility. Above all, he reminds us that war is a time not to seek flippant answers, but to ask vexing questions." -Samuel Greene, Director, King's Russia Institute and Reader in Russian Politics, King's College London "When the Dean of the Art of Strategy expounds, the students sa
Ukraine and the Art of Strategy