1. The war in Ukraine does reflect a revolutionary change in the character of warfare, as evidenced by the significant impact of drones on tank losses and artillery effectiveness.
2. The integration of surveillance technology, agile command-and-control systems, and long-range rocket launchers has made Ukraine's military more effective despite limited precision weapons.
3. Incremental changes in warfare are observed due to adaptation to new technologies, limiting their transformative impact on the battlefield.
The article titled "Out of the Trenches" in Foreign Affairs presents a critical analysis of Stephen Biddle's argument that the war in Ukraine does not reflect a revolutionary change in the character of warfare. While the author raises some valid points, there are several biases and shortcomings in their analysis.
Firstly, the author criticizes Biddle for not mentioning that 80 percent of tank losses during World War I were due to mechanical failures rather than combat damage. However, this criticism is irrelevant to Biddle's argument, as he was comparing the percentage of tank losses between different wars, not the reasons behind those losses. The author fails to address Biddle's main point that tank losses in Ukraine today exceed 50 percent for both sides, which suggests a significant impact of new technology.
Furthermore, the author argues that drones have had a significant tactical shift in warfare by laying waste to armor from miles away. They cite examples from Nagorno-Karabakh and Ukraine where vehicles were destroyed by drones. However, they fail to provide evidence or data on how widespread these drone attacks are and whether they have truly revolutionized warfare. Without such evidence, their claim remains unsupported.
Additionally, the author dismisses Biddle's argument about casualties inflicted per round of artillery fired without providing any counterarguments or evidence to support their own position. They mention that Ukraine has achieved an increase in casualties per rounds fired even with unguided rounds and uneven quality-control standards from global suppliers. However, they do not explain how this relates to drones or other technological advancements.
Moreover, the author highlights Ukraine's effective use of surveillance, command-and-control systems, and long-range rocket launchers and missiles as evidence of new tactics and equipment changing ground warfare. While these factors may contribute to battlefield success, they do not necessarily prove a revolutionary change in warfare as claimed by the author.
Overall, this article exhibits biases towards downplaying the impact of new technologies on warfare and dismissing Biddle's arguments without providing sufficient evidence or counterarguments. The author's analysis lacks depth and fails to explore alternative perspectives or acknowledge potential risks associated with new technologies. It presents a one-sided view that undermines the potential transformative effects of drones and other advancements in modern warfare.