WAR 101, PART III
An introduction to “Warfighting,” the how-to manual for the US Marines, and its practical application in Ukraine. Part III of III: Pros talk logistics.
“An army marches on its stomach.” —Frederick the Great
This three-part series introduces Warfighting, the US Marine Corps’ how-to manual. In Part I, we explored Centers of Gravity and Critical Vulnerabilities.
In Part II, we studied The Main Effort, Intent, and Tactical Leadership.
As Robert H. Barrow said, amateurs talk strategy; professionals talk logistics. Logistics are the most complex and least understood aspect of war.
The more people talk about a NATO no-fly zone, the less they talk about logistics. But a no-fly zone is a non-starter, as Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky undoubtably knows. What’s more, Ukraine’s aircraft, manned and unmanned, remain operational, so a no-fly zone would not necessarily advantage Ukraine. There are, I hope, more sophisticated and practical conversations taking place behind the scene between Western and Ukrainian leaders. The no-fly zone debate may well be a red herring to keep Russia distracted while friendly forces push in supplies.1 Getting critical supplies to the front is far more important to the outcome of the war than a no-fly zone: As a center of gravity, maintaining supply lines ranks just after keeping Zelensky alive.
Logistics sound easy. Get stuff from the rear to the front. The hard part is the shooting, right? Not so much. Compared to logistics, battlefield tactics are child’s play.
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