July 31, 2022

War With Russia Enters New Phase as Ukraine Readies Southern Counterblow

Featuring Chris Dougherty

Source: The Wall Street Journal

Journalists Daniel Michaels, Stephen Fidler

Chris Dougherty, a former U.S. Defense Department strategist now at the Center for a New American Security, said that, despite all the materiel the West has given to Ukraine, it probably still lacks the equipment and trained forces to retake ground successfully and quickly.

“The worry I have is we give advanced equipment to the Ukrainians and they use it to stop the bleeding,” he said. “That makes sense if you’re bleeding to death. But what’s the next thing you do?” He said Russia has been unable to capitalize on its massive artillery blitzes to take significant ground, and Ukraine risks falling into the same trap.

Mr. Dougherty said he doubts Ukrainian forces can take ground in the east, where Russian forces are well dug-in, but thinks they can do it around Kherson or other areas in the south, where operations by partisans have already been hitting Russian targets.

“They have to make sure the Russians can’t rapidly reinforce from another area,” he said. “And the Ukrainians have to make sure they take advantage of what they have—partisans and intelligence inside Kherson.”

“The Ukrainians have to find a way to hit weak points in the Russian line and hit them in the rear of their line. Nothing panics an army like knowing their line is getting hit in the rear,” he said.

Some military analysts said that given Western military resources and hardware, economic aid and critical intelligence assessments about Russian military movements, the balance in the south is shifting to the Ukrainians.

Read the full story and more from The Wall Street Journal.

Authors

  • Chris Dougherty

    Senior Fellow, Defense Program

    Chris Dougherty is a Senior Fellow for the Defense Program at CNAS. His primary areas of research include defense strategy, operational concepts, and force planning. He combin...