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K-State Today

April 25, 2022

History professor publishes on helping Ukraine defeat Russia

Submitted by Melissa Janulis

Andrew Orr, associate professor of history and co-director of the Institute for Military History, has published the article "Winning by Outlasting: The United States and Ukrainian Resistance to Russia" in Military Review. It outlines American options to support Ukraine and roots them in military history from the Viking invasion of early medieval England to the contemporary period.

"Winning by Outlasting" grew out of Orr’s role in the Ukraine Working Group. This group of 60 global defense scholars organized to support the U.S. and other NATO governments at the beginning of the Russian invasion of Ukraine. The group began in Europe but quickly spread when European scholars reached out to K-State's Institute for Military History to help organize the working group.

"K-State's history department has a 60-year-old reputation in military history, so European scholars reached out to the Institute for Military History when they wanted to find American partners to help found the working group," Orr said.

The Ukraine Working Group scholars drafted policy plans and wrote and signed letters calling for specific forms of support for Ukraine. They also advised politicians, senior officers and journalists in the U.S. and Europe to develop plans to help Ukraine survive and win against Russia.

The article reflects the intrinsic connection between scholarship and K-State’s mission as a land-grant university and its position as a global university. While providing their expertise and experience to support policy debates, Orr and his co-authors, who are political scientists based at the University of St. Andrews in Scotland and Khalifa University in Dubai, decided to write a scholarly article that grounded current debates about the U.S. helping Ukraine in historical examples of weaker powers winning against stronger ones and successful efforts by donor states to help vulnerable allies win wars without directly intervening.

"This kind of interdisciplinary and global cooperation is what defines K-State's graduate programs in history and security studies and it is why we need faculty with diverse expertise," said Orr, who teaches in both programs.