The Platform


Since the Second World War, technology has dominated warfare. After the Second World War, the United States, and later the then-Soviet Union, acquired nuclear weapons that were high-tech weapons that changed the nature of warfare forever. It culminated in what came to be known as “the balance of terror.”

Fast forward a few decades, armed with nuclear weapons and a large arsenal of tanks and armored vehicles, Moscow seems incapable of defeating Ukraine, armed with defensive tactical weapons.

Drones are a prime example of a tactical weapon defeating countries richly armed with strategic weapons. Nuclear powers severely restrict the club of nuclear-armed nations, and they have been able to do that. Countries that cannot acquire nuclear weapons have turned to tactical weapons such as drones.

Germany pioneered the application of technology in warfare more broadly during the Second World War. After heavy barrages and heavy artillery bombardment, German infantry units advanced. Essentially, they employed technology to demolish their enemies, and they would advance into foreign territories meeting little resistance and succeeding with the least casualties.

It only lasted from 1939 to 1942, as other nations began integrating technology into their war strategies. Finally, most advances were invented during wars and times of high tension, the Internet is a prime example.

The strategic map of war that developed during the Cold War was exorbitantly invested in by both NATO, and the Warsaw pact, which led to Russia’s collapse but only to resurrect later.

After globalization, the unipolar world order disintegrated. Asymmetric warfare and great power competition led to new warfare strategies prominently adopted by NATO, disturbing the international balance of power as its application proliferated worldwide.

From the conclusion of the Cold War until now, the international system has descended into chaos. Its various poles, the United States, China, the European Union, and other powers, led to the emergence of many severe and fresh threats. For years, there was a potential flashpoint between the U.S. and China in the South China Sea, and it manifested itself in the Ukraine-Russian war.

The war in Ukraine didn’t need to happen, but under the current global world order of intermingling interests of great powers, it was inevitable.

The war in Ukraine is not unexpected because the culture of forgiveness and democratic settling of matters has not imbedded itself in the mindset of great powers. However, capitalistic and international monopoly are the rule.

In the second millennium, technical and tactical weaponry have developed beyond imagination besides strategic warfare technology. Precision-guided missiles can hit their targets thousands of miles from afar. Developments in chemistry, physics, and computer science are astonishing.

For ages, ammunition deposits have been filled, but there was no war for their deployment. Ukraine is the testing ground of new weapons. Russia has deployed its most up-to-date armory and fighter jets in Ukraine. It has fired thousands of ballistic missiles targeting civilians.

NATO has long studied and observed the Russian arsenal, as it supplied Ukraine with weapons, such as anti-armor and anti-air defense missiles, to precisely counter Russian weapons. NATO has supplied Ukraine with thousands of anti-tank and anti-aircraft systems, but the alliance has not ignored providing ammunition and financial assistance to Ukrainians. With valor and resistance, the Ukrainians have won the approval of the West and international public opinion.

These weapons are most effective in mobilized or guerilla warfare. They are not as effective in symmetric warfare, or a regular army engaged against another regular army in classical warfare.

Technical and tactical weapons are for ambush by small armed groups, sudden attack, and hit and run tactics. In this field, NATO has succeeded. The Kremlin has acknowledged significant losses in the war. In many regions, Russians are pushed back, notably in the areas around Kyiv, Kharkiv, and the east and west of the country.

So far, the military equation looks like NATO’s tactical weapons are more effective than Russia’s strategic weapons. If the war continues at its current pace and even more devastating weapons are not deployed, the Ukrainians will eventually win, and their victory will become a 21st-century legend.

Mala Bakhtiar is the publisher and Editor-in-Chief of Chawder. He has authored more than twenty books covering domestic and international politics, human rights, and political developments. Mala Bakhtiar was a senior commander of Kurdish revolutionary forces fighting against the Saddam Hussein regime from the mid-1970s to 1991. Currently, he is a member of the high political council of interest of PUK, one of the ruling parties of Iraqi Kurdistan.