Most Read War On The Rocks Articles of 2022

Starsand Stripes_MostRead2022

As we look back at 2022, the world seems a lot different than when we assembled this list in 2021. While it appeared as if Russia was preparing for war at this time last year, analysts differed on whether Moscow was engaged in an elaborate bluff to force Kyiv to make concessions or if President Vladimir Putin was prepared to use his military to invade Ukraine to topple the regime.

For now, the invasion looks like a strategic blunder that has inched the world closer to nuclear war. It has also revealed a series of systemic issues both within the Russian military and in Western societies that are now trying to ramp up production of military equipment to supply Ukraine’s armed forces. 

Last year, we predicted that “2021 might be remembered as the year that War on the Rocks pivoted to the Indo-Pacific.” Well, if we look back at 2022, the return of war to Europe has driven readers to a slew of articles breaking down the conflict from logistics to the future of war. 15 of the year’s top 20 most-read articles are about Ukraine — a clear indication that our readers look to our authors to understand Russia’s motivations for war and Ukraine’s capacity to resist.



  1. Michael Kofman and Rob Lee, “Not Built For Purpose: The Russian Military’s Ill-Fated Force Design
  2. Michael Kofman, “Putin’s Wager in Russia’s Stand-Off With the West
  3. David Johnson, “The Tank is Dead: Long Live the Javelin, the Switchblade, the …?
  4. Jeremy Shapiro, “We Are On a Path to Nuclear War
  5. Jean-Baptiste Jeangene Vilmer, “Putin Loses No Matter How This Plays Out, But We Might Too
  6. Stephen Biddle, “Ukraine and the Future of Offensive Maneuver 
  7. David Barno and Nora Bensahel, “The Other Big Lessons That the U.S. Army Should Learn from Ukraine
  8. James Lacey, Tim Barrick, and Nathan Barrick, “The Wargame Before the War: Russia Attacks Ukraine
  9. Robert “Tony” Vincent, “Getting Serious About the Threat of High Altitude Nuclear Detonations
  10. Zack Cooper and Gregory Poling, “The Quad Goes to Sea
  11. Rob Lee, “The Tank is Not Obsolete, and Other Observations about the Future of Combat
  12. Mike Pietrucha, “Amateur Hour Part II: Failing the Air Campaign
  13. Zachary Kallenborn, “Necro-Aeronautics: Raising Undead Aircraft for War
  14. Mike Pietrucha, “Amateur Hour Part I: The Chinese Invasion of Taiwan
  15. David Johnson, “Would We Do Better? Hubris and Validation in Ukraine
  16. Mike Pietrucha and Mike Benitez, “The Dangerous Allure of the No-Fly Zone
  17. Brennan Deveraux, “Loitering Munitions in Ukraine and Beyond
  18. Michael Kofman and Anya Fink, “Escalation Management and Nuclear Employment Strategy in Russian Military Strategy
  19. Selim Koru, “What Russia’s New Reality Means for Turkey
  20. Ryan Gingeras, “Why Erdogan Might Choose War with Greece”