TOWARDS UNDERSTANDING CRITICAL TRANSITIONS IN WARFARE

Theoretical Framework and Evidence from the Russo-Ukrainian War

Miha ŠLEBIR

In recent decades, the systems approach has become the dominant school of thought to the theoretical understanding of warfare. Within systems theory, the insights of complex (adaptive) systems theory have proved particularly important, enabling us to deepen our understanding of warfare by drawing on knowledge that has been applied in many other disciplines. This paper seeks to improve the understanding of warfare and upgrade it with the concepts of attractor and critical transition. The main idea is that a degradation of a crucial subsystem leads to a phase transition (a significant decrease of combat power) and thus to a shift from one to another strange attractor, i.e., to an alternative relatively stable state. The theoretical framework has been supported by a case study of the first phase of the Russian invasion of Ukraine in 2022.

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Keywords

Warfare; Critical Transition; Attractor; Systems Theory; Complexity; War in Ukraine.


Title in English:

TOWARDS UNDERSTANDING CRITICAL TRANSITIONS IN WARFARE
Theoretical Framework and Evidence from the Russo-Ukrainian War

Title in Czech:

K POROZUMĚNÍ KRITICKÝM PŘECHODŮM VE VÁLČENÍ
Teoretický rámec a důkazy z rusko-ukrajinské války

Type:

Article

Author(s):

Miha ŠLEBIR

Language:

English

Abstract:

English/Czech

Journal:

Obrana a strategie

Publisher:

University of Defence

ISSN:

1802-7199 (online)

DOI:

10.3849/1802-7199.22.2022.01.055-074

Issue:

Volume 22, Number 1 (June 2022)

Pages:

055-074

Received:

27.12.2021

Accepted:

01.04.2022

Published online:

15.06.2022