Unlike Crimea that succumbed to Russia’s invasion in 2014 without resistance, Ukraine is resisting Russia’s unprovoked war against the former through guts and the will to fight… the will to win!
With proper support from the US, NATO and the European Council, Ukraine President Vlodomir Zelensky is carrying on the war to the very end even if it will cost his life, he said, and the lives of his countrymen. The volunteers and the resistance troops are fighting and keep on fighting…
As I See It, the Ukrainians just want to live because they must have been inspired by Marcus Aurelius’ quote: “The act of dying is one of the acts of life.” They thought, accepting Russia’s control is not the way to live their lives but to fight for their lives… even though they die in the process.
And… for Zelensky, who must be known by now as a lion fighter, must have likewise been inspired by Alexander the Great’s: “I am not afraid of an army of lions led by a sheep; I am afraid of an army of sheep led by a lion.”
Zelensky refused to go on exile while the Ukraine-Russia war is going on, unlike most world leaders do, but stayed in his country fighting side by side with his people. Again, As I See It, he must have been living Martin Luther King’s words: “The ultimate measure of a man is not where he stands in moments of comfort and convenience, but where he stands at times of challenge and controversy.”
The Ukraine-Russia war is a challenge and controversy he needs to hurdle.
In 2018, RAND published two reports for the U.S. Army describing will to fight. Arguably, the publication noted that “the will to fight is the single most important factor in war. Will to fight is the disposition and decision to fight, to keep fighting, and to win. The best technology in the world is useless without the force of will to use it and to keep using it even as casualties mount and unexpected calamities arise. Will to fight represents the indelibly human nature of warfare.”
All wars and almost all battles, with very few exceptions, are decided by matters of human will: Breaking the enemy’s will to fight while sustaining one’s own will to fight is the key to success in battle. But as focus on technology increases, the essentially human nature of war is all but ignored. Lack of focus on will to fight has created a dangerous gap in American military practice.
In general terms, will to fight is the disposition and decision to fight, to keep fighting, and to win. However, there is no generally accepted definition of will to fight. There is no way to accurately quantify will to fight or delineate its precise value. Despite this, will to fight can be more clearly understood and practicably applied.
To do so, the RAND team undertook a literature review of over 200 published works, reviewed U.S. and allied military doctrine, conducted 68 subject matter expert interviews, and shape Russian thinking and behavior.
The will to fight by the Ukrainians stalled Putin’s timetable to occupy Ukraine originally planned to last for a few days, which forced him to change strategy to go back into contention. That’s what Putin is doing now, shifting its offensive from the capitol city of Kyiv to the Donbas area of Ukraine.
Ukraine’s will to fight is transforming their perceived weak military capability by many to a very strong resistance army trying to weaken, if not defeat, a strong adversary such as Russia!
If there’s a will, there’s a way!
(ELPIDIO R. ESTIOKO was a veteran journalist in the Philippines and a multi-awarded journalist here in the US. For feedbacks, comments… please email the author at [email protected])