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Logistic Support and Insurgency. Guerrilla Sustainment and Applied Lessons of Soviet Insurgent Warfare: Why it Should Still be Studied

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This is a pertinent and timely study of a critical issue facing the United States military today how do insurgents logistically sustain and expand their operations Dr. Turbivilles essay discusses the logistics and sustainment of guerrillas operating in the Soviet Union behind German lines during World War II. The paper is a significant step in addressing the research shortfall on insurgency logistics. Dr. Turbiville posits that there is a high correlation between USSR planners studies of Soviet partisan operations in World War II and how the USSR sponsored and supported insurgencies throughout the Cold War period. He effectively argues that this mindset constituted the base upon which Soviet and Russian guerrilla operations and support approaches and techniques were developed in the 60 years since World War II. Turbiville clearly identifies how the Soviet perspective on the effectiveness of guerrilla operations constituted the most frequent means of shaping the course of military actions in low intensity conflict. Implicit in this paradigm is the critical link between Soviet special operations units and partisan or guerrilla activities. A significant portion of the report discusses how the Soviet Union supplied guerrilla forces during the war. Dr. Turbiville emphasizes three distinct types of supply sources guerrillas can use local or prepositioned supplies, captured supplies, and supplies provided from external sources. Resupply by Soviet aircraft was an extremely important transportation medium used by the USSR. Although most insurgents fighting against the United States are unlikely to use aerial resupply due to U.S. air supremacy, these three broad supply categories are still valid and are present in our current conflicts in Iraq and Afghanistan. One of the most valuable sections of Dr. Turbivilles work is the superb recap in the essays conclusion of 13 key elements of insurgency sustainment.

Subject Categories:

  • Humanities and History
  • Logistics, Military Facilities and Supplies
  • Unconventional Warfare

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