Building Afghanistan's Security Forces in Wartime: The Soviet Experience
RAND ARROYO CENTER SANTA MONICA CA
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The ongoing effort by U.S. and allied forces to assist in the development of the Afghan National Security Forces is not unprecedented. Two decades before coalition forces entered Afghanistan in 2001, Soviet personnel were endeavoring to build Afghan military, police, and intelligence capabilities while fighting alongside Afghan counterparts against a growing insurgency. While there are unquestionably many differences between the two undertakings, some notable similarities suggest that there may be lessons the United States and its coalition partners can learn from the earlier experience. This monograph provides an overview of Soviet efforts to improve and facilitate the training and development of Afghan security forces. It covers the time period from 1920 to 1989, with specific focus on the period of the Soviet military presence in Afghanistan, from 1979 to 1989. To do so, it draws on Western, Soviet, and Russian sources, as well as interviews in Kabul and Moscow with individuals involved on both the Soviet and Afghan sides. It concludes with comparisons with and lessons for ongoing SFA in Afghanistan.
- Government and Political Science
- Military Operations, Strategy and Tactics