Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky singing the national anthem in Kherson, Ukraine, November 2022
Ukrainian Presidential Press Service / Reuters

When Russia invaded Ukraine in February, few observers imagined that the war would still be raging today. Russian planners did not account for the stern resistance of Ukrainian forces, the enthusiastic support Ukraine would receive from Europe and North America, or the various shortcomings of their own military. Both sides are now dug in, and the fighting could carry on for months, if not years.

Why is this war dragging on? Most conflicts are brief. Over the last two centuries, most wars have lasted an average of three to four months. That brevity owes much to the fact that war

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