NYT: 烏克蘭教會我們的軟實力


作者/Author(s): Paul Krugman 

原文來源/Source: The New York Times 

日期/Date: 01/16/2023 

主題/Key Topics: Soft Power, Military, Economy



  • 戰爭初期專家預測,俄羅斯的軍費開支是烏克蘭的十倍,因此他們應該在入侵初期迅速取得決定性勝利 
  • 然而,快速而決定性的勝利比軍事規劃者想像的更具挑戰性。烏克蘭在現代反坦克武器的幫助下,以游擊戰術殲滅了俄羅斯的坦克,將戰局硬是撐到了消耗戰。 
  • 雖然烏克蘭必須獨自作戰,但他们將自己描繪成反暴政的民主保護者,這吸引了西方,尤其是北約成員國,提供其大量高科技設備和情報來支持其事業。北約的武器,尤其是美國的武器,勝過俄羅斯的武器。這也說明,俄羅斯奢侈的軍費開支並沒有轉化為足夠的軍事實力。 
  • 一旦戰爭進入消耗戰階段,經濟實力就成為決定性因素,因為戰鬥會迅速消耗裝備,需要依靠生產基地(經濟實力)來維持戰爭。此時,歐盟和美國繼續以其龐大的生產能力向烏克蘭提供物資。相比之下,俄羅斯因經濟低迷而難以彌補損失並繼續維持作戰能力。 
While military power is still crucial in modern wars, the Ukrainian War shows that strategy, technology, soft power, and economic power play a greater role in deciding the victory once a war reaches the attrition stage. 
  • Experts predicted a quick and decisive victory for Russia in the initial invasion stage due to the vast military spending, which is ten times more than Ukraine. 
  • Yet, a quick and decisive victory is more challenging than military planners thought. Ukraine, aided by modern anti-tank weapons, annihilated Russian tanks with guerilla tactics and brought the war into a war of attrition. 
  • Although Ukraine has to fight on its own, it depicted itself as a protector of democracy against tyranny, which attracted the West, especially from NATO members, to support its cause by providing a vast number of high-technology equipment and intelligence. NATO’s weapons, especially U.S. ones, outperform Russian armaments. It also shows Russia’s lavish military spending does not translate into adequate military strength. 
  • Once the war reaches the attrition stage, economic power becomes decisive because battles will deplete equipment rapidly and need to rely on production bases (economic power) to sustain the war. At this point, the European Union and the U.S. continue to provide supplies to Ukraine with their large production capacity. In contrast, Russia struggles to replace its losses and continue operations due to its lackluster economy. ​​​​​​​