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The decision of Russian political-military leadership on February 24, 2022, to morph local aggression at Donbas and tensions at sea into the largest regional war in Europe since 1945 is the greatest tragedy of modern Ukraine. Prevention of the recurrence of such a tragedy should be the key task of Ukraine’s prospective defense policy. Such a policy aims to establish and sustain an appropriate deterrent effect. 

Establishing and sustaining the deterrence effect is the key task for any Defense Forces in the nuclear age. The deterrent effect is based on three components. First, corresponding capabilities of a sufficient number for consistent combat operations in the key physical domains of war shall be developed. Secondly, the ability shall be attained to effectively employ the relevant capabilities within a modern combined arms warfare framework at levels of tactics and operations. A high-quality training program and personnel policy do this. Thirdly, complex political-diplomatic, informational, and special measures shall be implemented to convince opponents that employing a military instrument is senseless due to the significant price of retribution and associated risks.

This policy brief focuses on the first component of establishment and sustainment of an adequate deterrence effect – namely, the basic outline of capabilities for operations in the key physical domains of war, based on the combat experience after February 24, 2022.

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