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Video Analysis: What Will Russia's Attack on Ukraine Look Like? Tanks? EW & Cyber? Drones? Hypersonics?

Discussing the Russian Ukraine Crisis with Former Deputy Assistant, National Security, Trump Administration and current Hudson Institute Senior Fellow, Tim Morrison

By Kris Osborn - President & Editor-In-Chief, Warrior Maven

Kris Osborn, Warrior Maven President, Center for Military Modernization

Hello, welcome to Warrior Maven in the center for military modernization a really fascinating discussion today a unique, exciting opportunity. We're talking with an expert from the Hudson Institute, Tim Morrison's a senior fellow at the Hudson Institute. He was also the deputy assistant for national security to the President has a wide expertise when it comes to weapons, geopolitical strategy and, of course, military issues, many of which are on the minds of many right now, as news reports continue to say Russian tactical and armored vehicles are moving closer to the Ukrainian border. 

A lot of concern that indeed an invasion could be imminent. I wanted to get an expert's take on what this looks like in terms of a strategic push toward overwhelming Ukraine. A lot of discussion about Javelin anti tank missiles, they're probably as it's been discussed, likely to have an impact but not able to stop an overwhelming Russian force. And then there was a recent exercise where hypersonic missiles were fired. So let's get to our expert and say, what are some of your concerns about what might be imminent? And what kinds of attacks might we see?

A Javelin fired by U.S. soldier in Jordan during Eager Lion 2019

A Javelin fired by U.S. soldier in Jordan during Eager Lion 2019

Tim Morrison, Deputy Asst., Nat'l Security, Trump Admin.

Kris, thank you for the invitation to be here today. I'm a big fan of all of your writing. I know I've learned a lot as you tried to keep track of things that are happening in the hypersonic missile space, hypersonic defense. So it's a real pleasure for me to be here. You know, I think the the first thing we have to admit, is there is about to be a really horrific humanitarian tragedy in Ukraine, the people of Ukraine, I traveled to Ukraine, a number of times in various government positions are a great, warm people. 

They want to integrate with Europe, they want to integrate with the West, they want to integrate with NATO and the EU. And it's what's about to happen to them, is really tragic. I also worry about what it means for other future conflicts, the the Chinese are clearly watching, they are going to see what they learn from how the West responds to what Putin is about to do in Ukraine. And so we shouldn't lose sight of what's about to happen. Ukraine could be repeated further east. And that's, that's, that's, frankly, something else we need to really think about the consequences of what happens in Europe will not stay in Europe.

Kris Osborn, Warrior Maven President, Center for Military Modernization

Interesting. So perhaps it could set a precedent that China might feel more emboldened to go take Taiwan, but I wanted to get your take on the prospect of a hypersonic weapon. Mr. Kirby was the Pentagon spokesman was clear that US troops will not fight in Ukraine It seems there's a red line with NATO, of course, all the force positioning within eastern Europe strikers to Bulgaria, F-35. to Germany, etc. What's your estimation about the kind of weapon we we might see? Could there be a hypersonic attack and knockout targets in advance of an advance?

F-35 Missile

F-35

Tim Morrison, Deputy Asst., Nat'l Security, Trump Admin.

So it's entirely possible what what we've seen from the White House is an attempt to send sort of a limit to escalation, we won't send us military forces into Ukraine. That's a message to Putin of that we are only prepared to escalate so high. 

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Putin, on the other hand, appears to be mingling his impending assault on Ukraine with his own annual strategic forces exercise. And just over the weekend, we saw numerous ballistic missile launches, numerous launches of their hypersonic platform that is the Tsirkon. And there could be other launches coming, which which actually sends a message of, well, maybe Russia won't confine this conflict to the conventional space, maybe they'll they'll add a nuclear element to it, maybe they're sending a message that if if we cross a red line that Putin is drawing, he could respond with nuclear force. 

That's a pretty dangerous situation to be in. Putin isn't respecting what we've come to understand to be sort of the norms of conflict, the norms of not allowing conflict was to escalate beyond the conventional domain. And we really have to understand that he's not playing by our rules. Unknown Speaker

Kris Osborn, Warrior Maven President, Center for Military Modernization

Roger that, indeed, there is a much anticipated much intensified measure of concern when it comes to any kind of attack. I remember talking to an army four star, the commander of Army futures command, several years back about the the 2014 Russian incursion into Crimea. And one of the things that we said is it was a bit of a wake up call for the US military. That was the use of EW, that was the use of drones. That was the use of cyber attacks, some of which we've already seen against Ukraine. What kinds of sophisticated complications you think might be on display now that worked gosh, almost 10 years and more evolved?

Tim Morrison, Deputy Asst., Nat'l Security, Trump Admin.

Well, we know we know the cyber domain has become even more dangerous. We've seen a sad activity from around This year like I said, they're they're mingling this exercise with with a their own annual nuclear exercise, it seems pretty clear that Putin is prepared to bring any Russian force to the table to accomplish his objectives. 

He simply doesn't play by the rules that we play by. That's not to say he's not a rational actor. That's not to say that deterrence doesn't work. I think what it means is, we don't necessarily value the same things that he does. And so we have to be very careful not to mirror image where we assume Putin is going to play by the rules, value what we value plainly that is not the case.

Russian President Vladimir Putin

Russian President Vladimir Putin

Kris Osborn, Warrior Maven President, Center for Military Modernization

Thank you very much, Mr. Tim Morrison, senior fellow at the Hudson Institute, former deputy assistant of national security to the President. appreciate your insight, as of course the world watches in this precarious situation. 

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Kris Osborn is the Defense Editor for the National Interest. Osborn previously served at the Pentagon as a Highly Qualified Expert with the Office of the Assistant Secretary of the Army—Acquisition, Logistics & Technology. Osborn has also worked as an anchor and on-air military specialist at national TV networks. He has appeared as a guest military expert on Fox News, MSNBC, The Military Channel, and The History Channel. He also has a Master's Degree in Comparative Literature from Columbia University.

Kris Osborn, Warrior Maven President

Kris Osborn, Warrior Maven President, Center for Military Modernization