The Soviet Afghanistan Experience as a Reflection of Soviet Strategic Culture
ARMY WAR COLLEGE CARLISLE BARRACKS PA
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Soviet Strategic Culture is a historical concept which describes the characteristic Soviet approaches to international affairs. In its most developed, utilitarian form, it projects probably Soviet political and diplomatic behavior. The Soviet invasion of Afghanistan and subsequent operations provide a perspective from which to judge Soviet consistency with their normally expected methods. This paper examines Soviet performance in Afghanistan to determine its consistency with Soviet Strategic Culture. Conclusions and implications are drawn which show the Soviet withdrawal from Afghanistan as a significant departure from the traditions of Soviet Strategic Culture. Ongoing Soviet attempts to massively restructure their system thus portend a period of great ambiguity. General Secretary Gorbachevs new thinking confounds the use of this historical concept. Hence, the utility of Soviet Strategic Culture as a predictive concept seems greatly reduced.
- Sociology and Law