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The Soviet Union and the United States Withdrawal from Afghanistan: Lessons from Two Separate Approaches

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Technical Report,25 Jun 2018,23 May 2019

Corporate Author:

US Army School of Advanced Military Studies Fort Leavenworth United States

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The United States and Soviet Union both entered Afghanistan for vastly different reasons, and both nations struggled mightily adjusting their operational approaches to meet the problems encountered. This monograph examines the 40th Armys withdrawal from Afghanistan and discusses issues US planners and commanders are currently experiencing in Afghanistan. The elements of operational art provide a useful tool in examining the operational approach the 40th Army used to withdraw their forces from Afghanistan. The 40th Armys planners utilized the elements of operational art to great effect in some situations and ignored them to their peril in other instances. This monograph addresses conceptually how the Soviets framework can be applied, and when their framework should be avoided by US planners in Afghanistan.

Subject Categories:

  • Military Forces and Organizations
  • Military Operations, Strategy and Tactics

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