Mick Ryan, AM Profile picture
Strategist, Leader & Author | Retd Army Major General | Futura Doctrina substack | @CSIS Fellow | @LowyInstitute | #BannedInRussia
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Nov 18 10 tweets 3 min read
Since the release of the Zaluzhnyy paper, there has been discussion about how to help #Ukraine break out of Positional Warfare. There is no big secret way to do this. It requires just one thing from the West: Commitment. 1/10 🧵
Image 2/ Western nations must commit anew to their aid to #Ukraine. This commitment has four elements: strategic, industrial, innovation and informational.
Nov 14 9 tweets 2 min read
An update on Russian force structure changes. In the short term, these focus on #Ukraine ops & the shift towards Brigade & Division size formations, as well as expansion in the VDV. 1/9 🧵 ’s-military-restructuring-and-expansion-hindered-ukraine-war understandingwar.org/backgrounder/r…
Image 2/ The VDV expansion probably recognises their capability and flexibility during operations in #Ukraine. Interesting to watch the future of the current commander.
Nov 1 7 tweets 1 min read
“The war is now moving to a new stage: what we in the military call “positional” warfare of static and attritional fighting, as in the first world war, in contrast to the “manoeuvre” warfare of movement and speed.” An interview with @CinC_AFU ($)m 1/7m economist.com/by-invitation/… 2/ “This will benefit Russia, allowing it to rebuild its military power, eventually threatening Ukraine’s armed forces and the state itself.”
Oct 31 7 tweets 2 min read
The latest from @War_Mapper on Israel’s assault into #Gaza. The plan appears to be to isolate Gaza City and northern Gaza in the initial phase of the advance. What does this mean? 1/7 🧵 2/ While doing this, the IDF will also be seeking to find Hamas infrastructure in northern Gaza and to minimise Hamas fighters heading south. This will involve crewed and uncrewed aircraft as well as electronic recon, HUMINT and ground operations.
Oct 20 12 tweets 3 min read
An Israeli advance into #Gaza, which many have forecast since the 7 October #Hamas attacks, appears to be on the cusp of being launched. The coming weeks are likely to be bloody and full of surprises. Some thoughts on key challenges ahead. 1/12 🧵(Pic: @thewarzonewire) Image 2/ Challenge 1: Aligning political purpose and military objectives. The impending military operation in and around Gaza must have clear political objectives in mind. These objectives must then inform Israel's military strategy and operations.
Oct 17 19 tweets 5 min read
Today marks 600 days since the large-scale Russian invasion of #Ukraine in February 2022. But as @ChristopherJM rightly points out, it is actually 3525 days since the beginning of Russia’s invasion and attempts to subjugate Ukraine. 1/19 🧵 Image 2/ At various points in this war, we have noted the passing of days partly because it might drive Ukraine’s supporters to speed up and expand their military and economic aid in order to assist #Ukraine to win more quickly.
Oct 7 14 tweets 3 min read
Israel has been subject to a large-scale and multi domain surprise assault by Hamas. What do we know, what might be the aims of #Hamas, and what might happen in the hours ahead? 1/14 🧵
Image 2/ First, this is a multi-domain surprise attack. Air, sea and ground elements have all be employed and Hamas are certain to be using this for its domestic, regional and global influence operations.
Oct 4 20 tweets 6 min read
Recently, I returned from my third visit to #Ukraine in the past year. The aim of this visit was to speak with senior military and civilian officials about how Ukraine is leveraging many elements of its national power to defend against Russia. 1/20 🧵 Image 2/ Ultimately, I want to use the insights gained on this trip, my previous trips and a variety of other research, to flesh out my hypothesis about a Ukrainian Way of War. During my Ukraine visit, I published a series at Futura Doctrina that contained some initial thoughts.
Sep 8 24 tweets 5 min read
Our view of ongoing wars is always incomplete. Whether it is because of operational security, lack of media, or the fog and friction of war, much remains hidden from us. This is true for #Ukraine war. This makes predictions on the future trajectory of the war impossible. 1/24 🧵 Image 2/ But, there are certain variables which are more likely than others to have an impact on the course of the war in 2024. At this point, there are four key variables which are likely to shape this war in the coming year.
Sep 2 25 tweets 5 min read
In a recent update, @ZelenskyyUa referred to preparations for winter. These preparations by the Ukrainians are certain to have been underway for some time. Likewise, Russia will also have been planning for the coming winter. What might we expect in the coming months? 1/25 🧵 Image 2/ Forecasts for winter this year are predicting a winter similar to last year. Expect cold weather, wet weather, overcast and mud. All of these have an impact on the planning for, and execution of, military operations as well as humanitarian support.
Aug 28 14 tweets 4 min read
While I have explored the impact of autonomous systems previously (in my 2018 CSBA report and in "War Transformed"), I wanted to provide some updated observations on their employment in #Ukraine and beyond. My latest at @abcnews 1/14 🧵
abc.net.au/news/2023-08-2… 2/ It comes in the context of this recent Washington Post piece where, allegedly, "Pentagon officials urged Ukraine to rely less on drones for recon." If accurate, it is probably one of the dumber observations from cubicle-based 'officials'. washingtonpost.com/opinions/2023/…
Aug 15 12 tweets 3 min read
My latest article at @abcnews explores the challenges of combined arms obstacle breaching in southern #Ukraine, and why mines pose such a significant challenge. A quick thread on some key elements of the piece. 1/12 🧵
abc.net.au/news/2023-08-1… 2/ The operations to penetrate the Russian defences in southern Ukraine have been subject to much scrutiny. Observations such as the lack of Ukrainian air power, poor training or insufficient Western equipment have been offered. These have played a role.
Aug 10 5 tweets 1 min read
This is a very good short history of the Battle of Hostomel, the first major ground battle of the war in #Ukraine in 2022. When explored from the Ukrainian and Russian sides, there are excellent lessons for military #education & #training. 1/5 🧵

warontherocks.com/2023/08/the-ba… 2/ From the Ukrainian side, the importance of anticipation and force apportionment / prioritization. Understanding the terrain matters, but so does logistics. And of course, training, #adaptation, knowing your enemy, and #leadership would be key #PME takeaways from this battle.
Aug 7 15 tweets 6 min read
Over the past 18 months, the Ukrainian Armed Forces have had to develop the capacity to plan and execute military campaigns and operations on a scale that has not been seen since the US operations in Iraq in 2003. A short thread on the many campaigns of #Ukraine 1/15 🧵 Image 2/ The Ukrainian campaigns possess a complexity that can be difficult to appreciate. They all support Ukraine’s strategy of corrosion against Russia. While much focus is paid to the southern campaign, there are a others of note. What are they, & how can the West learn from them?
Aug 2 20 tweets 5 min read
Almost 2 months into the Ukrainian offensives, the tempo of ops has settled into the pulse & pause observed in other large wars. There is a lot going on. Time for a campaign update on the Ukrainian offensives. 1/20 🧵
Image 2/ In my 15 July 2023 substack update, I outlined 5 important 'competitions', that would shape the outcome of the Ukrainian & Russian summer/autumn campaigns in 2023. Let's do an update on each of these key ‘battles’. https://t.co/4FiDOV9CkUmickryan.substack.com/p/the-ukrainia…
Jul 24 24 tweets 6 min read
While the Russians in Ukraine have assumed the defensive over the past couple of months, that does not mean that they have been on the defensive at every level, and in every part of #Ukraine. A thread on Gerasimov's approach, 7 weeks into the Ukrainian offensives. 1/24 🧵 Image 2/ Gerasimov, who we assume retains overall command of the Russian 'special military operation' in #Ukraine, is implementing a defensive strategy. But concurrently he is conducting offensive activities at the tactical and operation levels.
Jul 17 16 tweets 4 min read
My article on #Ukraine this week for @abcnews explores the adaptation battle, and the need for Ukraine to keep adapting faster, and better, than Russia. 1/16 🧵
abc.net.au/news/2023-07-1… 2/ Predicting the shape and outcome of future wars is all but impossible. What matters is the ability to learn and adapt better than an adversary.
Jul 15 22 tweets 5 min read
A just and enduring peace is not possible until #Ukraine defeats Russian forces occupying its territory, ejects Russian forces and establishes the deterrent regime that ensures the long-term security of its territory and its people. 1/22🧵 Image 2/ A key part of this is the ongoing Ukrainian offensives. It is now five weeks since the beginning of the Ukrainian offensives was confirmed by President Zelensky. As such, it is time for a campaign update on the 2023 Ukrainian offensives.
Jul 9 11 tweets 2 min read
An interesting report on Ukrainian tactical adaptation, from @olliecarroll, in the operations by the Ukrainian armed forces to breach the Surovikin Line. 1/11 🧵 #FollowTheSapper 2/ While it is uncertain how widespread this adaptation is, the Ukrainian tactical activities to conduct obstacle breaches appear to have assumed a lower signature to increase survivability and effectiveness.
Jul 6 25 tweets 5 min read
Lots of recent discussion about the ‘slow’ Ukrainian offensives. What is actually occurring now is a steady, deliberate taking down of the Russian 'operational system'. This takes time. 1/25 🧵 2/ What is this operational system? To understand what it is, and how Ukraine is ‘taking down’ the Russian operational system, two foundational concepts are important to understand: the operational art; and, systems destruction warfare.
Jun 28 25 tweets 5 min read
The ripples from the Wagner mutiny in Russia over the weekend continue to propagate across the Russian systems. A quick assessment of the impact on Russia’s ‘fighting power’. 1/25 🧵 2/ The leader of the mutiny, Yevgeny #Prigozhin, has been transported into exile in Belarus. Reportedly staying in the only hotel in the capital of Belarus without opening windows, it is unlikely he will remain quiet or inactive for long.