Ukraine and Beyond: Why Super-Powers Stumble Against Small-Powers

When asymmetry aligns fuses with collective will, defeat stays out of reach

Shankar Narayan

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How did David win against Goliath? It might be folklore, but it does have a lesson the world simply refuses to learn

So, after World War II, everyone was all about this whole idea that having a massive military equals automatic victory. It’s like, the bigger, the better, right? But hold up, that’s totally not the full story.

I mean, just check out the numbers — China, India, the US, North Korea, and Russia combined have like seven million people in their armed forces. And that’s just the folks in uniforms! It’s wild to think how much weight people put on the size of military forces as this major deterrent. They assumed, “If we’re bigger, we’ve got better odds at winning.”

The real deal back then wasn’t just about who had the most troops or the fanciest tanks. It was this whole survival mode that kicked in for the Western Allies when they were up against the Axis powers. They weren’t ready for Hitler at all; they never thought they’d face such a massive threat. But when reality hit them like a ton of bricks, they banded together and found the guts to fight back.

It was all about that collective will to survive.

But here’s where things went a bit wonky. After the threat faded away, countries went back to their own business…

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Shankar Narayan

He didn't care what he had or what he had left, he cared only about what he must do.